Announcement of Plenary Council Delegates
Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has written to more than 250 other Catholics across the country, calling them as delegates for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia.
Those canonically mandated to be present at the Plenary Council are Bishop Tim Harris and Vicar General, Fr Mick Lowcock. Joining them will be two delegates appointed from the Diocese: Ms Louise Vella-Cox and Miss Stephanie Sullivan.
Bishop Tim said that Louise and Stephanie were chosen after a call to the community to nominate as representatives of the Diocese. “After receiving some excellent nominations, I called a small group of advisors together to assist me in selecting our preferred nominations to be sent to the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council for final approval” Bishop Tim said.
These advisors were drawn from various areas of the Diocese including Executive Director of Catholic Education, Jacqui Francis, Trudy Clarke a member of the Diocesan Plenary Council Coordinating Group and past Director of Mission at the Mater hospital, others included Diocesan Plenary Council Coordinators Geoff Gowdie and Neil Helmore.
“Both Louise and Stephanie bring exceptional experience of the Diocese to their appointment,” said Bishop Harris, “as well as proven demonstration of leadership in faith.” He congratulated Louise and Stephanie on their appointment and looks forward to collaborating with them in the discussion at the Plenary Council for the benefit of the People of God in both the Diocese of Townsville and the Church in Australia.
Louise Vella-Cox is well known to many having been an educator in Catholic Education for many years and now as a senior leader in Townsville Catholic Education. Louise is a passionate parishioner and has been very active in the Plenary Council process both in her Parish and also as a member of the Diocesan Coordinating Committee. As an experience educator, facilitator and communicator in the Catholic System, she has expressed a commitment to be an agent of change while understanding the strength in a person's ability to discern with an open heart.
Miss Stephanie Sullivan has displayed a dedication to the development of the youth movement in the Diocese and has been a dedicated member of the Diocesan Youth Leadership Team. Her genuine ability to articulate the voice of the younger person in a larger Church setting has been a gift to the Diocese and represents the future of our Church for many years to come.
“I am confident that our diocesan delegates will serve the people of our Diocese well at the assemblies of the Plenary Council,” says Bishop Harris. “Their understanding of the life of the Church in Australia is not only informed by their deep affection and familiarity with our own Diocese but also by their national and international perspectives.”
Bishop Tim thanked the many people in the Diocese recommended for nomination as diocesan delegates. He expresses his gratitude to their generosity and keen interest and is confident of their ongoing engagement in the progress of the Plenary Council.