A plan of spiritual renewal of the faithful
Jubilee 2000 Search



The work undertaken in the last four years by the Episcopal Conferences of Australia and New Zealand has been very intense in preparing for the Great Jubilee. Since 1995, the year the Australian Committee was founded, the Bishops have launched a plan of spiritual renewal of the faithful with the objective to rediscover the values of the Gospel and of the teachings of the Church.
A book of prayers was distributed, with the aim of stimulating a process of renewal in each Christian on the path towards the year 2,000. Each diocese and archdiocese of the country has been invited to organize parish programs of discussions and conventions on themes of the immediate triennial preparation indicated in the Apostolic Letter by the Holy Father in Tertio Millennio Adveniente. In light of the upcoming appointment of the Synod of Bishops of Oceania, expected within this year, the Pontifical Missionary Groups in Australia have organized a conference on the theme: «Preparing for the Jubilee - Inspiring the Mission», with the aim to deepen the link between the Jubilee event and the evangelization mission of the Church. The Catholic Bishops of Australia have also written a Pastoral Letter entitled: «The Coming of the Third Millennium» in which the sense of the preparation for the Holy year was illustrated, reaffirming the necessity for a more time give to the expression of the Christian dimension in Australian life.

For the month of May, in the year 2,000, taking the themes proposed during Pentecost, the faithful will be called to work towards a «pilgrimage of the heart», with a week of prayer organized for the unity of Christians, and another week for the reconciliation of the Aboriginal people. The «pilgrimage» will reach its maximum spiritual intensity in the period comprising Easter and the Pentecost of 2001, in which each Christian will be exhorted to consecrate themselves internally to solidarity with their brothers in Christ. The Episcopal Conference of New Zealand, for its part, has written a report based on six points on its preparation towards the Jubilee on the part of the dioceses. Each priest and chaplain was given a copy of the Pope's Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente on which programs and initiatives have been based on the part of the diocesan Pastoral Councils for the entire four year preparation for the Holy Year. A great deal of significance was also dedicated to the ecumenical aspect of this Jubilee event and, for this reason, since the first few months of the immediate preparatory phase, the Catholic Bishops have held talks with Anglican Bishops on the possibilities of holding common prayer events.

And finally, with regards to the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea, the Bishops have, since 1990, undertaken an intense preparation on vast themes tied to the event at the end of the millennium with the knowledge that «the new evangelization challenges all Christians to give a new priority to life and to parishes, to develop creative methods and make the Baptized aware of their evangelical responsibilities and to encourage them to witness their faith in the different cultural environments in which they live».