The timetable is here (if you scroll down a bit)
(But as that website page has been a bit glitchy, this is the timetable as it was online as at 30 Sep 2021.)
The second session will happen mid-2022.
If this goes according to normal Vatican Synod precedents, the first session tends to be a bit of an ice-breaker, and sets the conversation going, and then second session is where the nitty gritty stuff happens – because the first session gives everyone a handle on where the battlelines are and what the stakes actually are.
Yes, the first session is necessary, just like a football game the first half is where you size up the strengths and weaknesses of the other team, and the second half – like the second session – is where the game is decided.
It is a process that involves real people, with their own talents, responsibilities and agendas; the prayers of the church local; national and universal, and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Do not underestimate the Holy Spirit;
we know from holy scripture that He is just as adept at bringing God’s plans to fruition through the evil, the skullduggerous, the fool, even through a donkey, as well as through the well intentioned and the truly good and holy.
Obviously the Holy Spirit can do far more with willing collaborators than with the unwilling ones. The degree of willing collaboration determines whether the Father’s base plan, His better plan, His outstanding plan or His jaw-droppingly-wonderful plan is enacted.
l want to see the jaw-droppingly-wonderful plan happen,
Yes, there are massive forces working against this,
including the enemy of our souls and his minions as well those who independently want to shape the church in their image rather than in God’s image, and the potent zeitgeists of our era.
Yet this is the great south land of the Holy Spirit.
We have yet to see anything here that would deserve a smidgeon of that epithet.
But that’s what gives us hope, that this is the time,
among the chaos and lockdowns,
among the inability to freely and publicly access the sacraments,
when it most certainly can’t be by our doing,
that God can do it,
that He can do it in such a way that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God alone did it.
That’s why beyond all our fears that this is going to be a secular-agenda-led talk-fest and a complete waste of time,
that it will be known as the Plenary Council of the Holy Spirit.
That doesn’t mean we stop praying.
It means we intensify our prayers.
One way to do that is to join in with the full rosary (20 decades) being livestreamed through St Mary’s Cathedral Sydney from 3pm to 4.30pm on Sunday 3 Oct 2021.
(Remember Daylight Saving starts in NSW that morning! Fix your clocks.)
Another way to pray is to do what Archbishop Polding did when times were tough on the sea voyage from Sydney to London via the bottom of South America in 1846, when they risked being becalmed for weeks.
He got everyone to pray 5 Our Fathers, 5 Hail Marys and a Memorare for suitable wind.
We certainly need the wind of the Holy Spirit in our nation Australia,
and in the people of God who reside here,
in the Plenary Council of the Holy Spirit,
and in those who are on the path to seeking Him
but don’t quite realise it yet.
It seems like a good plan,
and achievable between now and 10 October,
especially as a family or household group,
to pray the 5 Our Fathers, 5 Hail Marys and a Memorare daily;
and if you feel so led,
to continue to pray them daily until the close of the second session in 2022.
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
hallowed be Your Name.
Your kingdom come,
Your Will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, Full of Grace,
The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now,
and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known
that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help,
or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
to you do I come,
before you I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen