Formation and Synod Documents

Synod Papers

We are delighted to share that the Synod Foundation Papers are now available for you to view. 

Our discernment was guided by the contemplative dialogue process as we considered the Five Foundation Framework of our Diocese:

  • Identity and Community
  • Worship and Prayer
  • Formation and Education
  • Mission and Outreach
  • Leadership and Structure


Simply click on the images below to read the Synod Papers and Supporting Documents.

Formation Videos

As the Synod Session Two – Discernment fast approaches, our Synod theologians and canonist have provided us with some reflective videos to continue our formation in synodality, discernment, collaboration and co-responsibility.

Make sure to check this page regularly, as videos will continue being uploaded until 22 May 2021!

Fr Richard Shortall SJ | Wise Decision Making | 

While recovering from a severe battle wound, St Ignatius of Loyola made an unexpected discovery. As a result, he was able to formulate a set of guidelines for making a wise decision with the help of God. He called these guidelines, Rules for the Discernment of Spirits.

In this video, Fr Shortall SJ explains this ‘simple’ method and how to apply it to any decision you might be facing.

Fr Timothy Radcliffe O.P. | Alive in God

Timothy Radcliffe, OP is a Roman Catholic priest and Dominican friar of the English Province, and former Master of the Order of Preachers from 1992 to 2001.

In the lead-up to our Synod Session Two – Discernment, Fr Radcliffe discusses how we can touch the imagination of our contemporaries with our faith.

Professor Richard Lennan | Synodality

Richard Lennan is a Professor of Systematic Theology at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry. He has also been a Priest of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle since 1983.

In this video, Richard discusses Synodality and reflects on the Light from the Southern Cross Report.

Dr Maeve Heaney | From the Foundation Papers – The Role of the Baptised (Ordained and Non-Ordained)

Dr. Maeve Louise Heaney is the Director of the Xavier Centre for Theological Formation at Australian Catholic University, and is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy. Born in Dublin, Ireland, she is a consecrated missionary of a Catholic Institute for consecrated life, the Verbum Dei Community.

Rev Matthew Muller | Canon Law and Synodality

Rev Matthew Muller is the Chancellor and Canonical Advisor in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

In this video, Rev Muller discusses the canonical aspects of our upcoming Synod.

Sr Patricia Egan | Our Diocesan Synodal Journey

Patricia Egan is a a Sr of St Joseph of Lochinvar and a member of the Council for Mission and the Synod Working Party.

As Sr Patricia coordinated our Diocese’s last Synod in 1992/93, in this video she gives some background history to our 2019-21 Synod.