A key theme that emerged from the recent consultation process for the Plenary Council was the need for the Church in Australia to be a humble, healing and merciful community. Among the issues highlighted in the process was the need for the Church in Australia to be a healing church, to go where there is pain, be moved with pity, touch the brokenness of humanity and be a healing balm for the world. It was acknowledged that this can only take place in light of Pope Francis’ vision of the Church as a caravan of solidarity (Evangelii Gaudium, 87), a community of faithful, or a synodal church, with multitudes of people journeying together and supporting the weakest and most vulnerable in their midst. This talk will address the important roles that humility, healing and mercy play in a mission-focused Australian Catholic Church called to a revolution of tenderness, authenticity and relevance. CEWA Ongoing Renewal: this course has been approved for Knowledge.
Gemma Thomson is currently the Dean of Mission and Catholic Identity at Iona Presentation College, Mosman Park. Previously, Gemma has upheld the roles of Head of Religious Education at Iona, Religious Education Teacher at Sacred Heart College, Business Internship Administrator at the University of Notre Dame and Human Resources Advisor for an international mining company. In addition to her leadership role at Iona, Gemma is passionate about social justice and is the Justice Contact for the Congregation of the Presentation Sisters of Western Australia; a role which reaches internationally to the United Nations. Gemma also offers her faith, passion, contemporary knowledge of the Religious Education landscape and business skills to the Archdiocese of Perth in her roles as a Plenary Council delegate, a member of the Archdiocese of Perth Plenary Council Strategy and Engagement Group and a member of the Centre for Faith Enrichment Committee of Management. She is also the co-author of the secondary text ‘MJR 24/7’ (Making Jesus Real 24/7) and Prayers and Reflections for Australasian Teachers 2021.