MOHMV Conference Unites Hearts and Minds in Sydney with a Powerful Message of Truth and Inclusion

The first day of the highly anticipated Mission: One Heart Many Voices (MOHMV) conference has successfully concluded in Sydney, on May 3, 2023. This biannual gathering, which focuses on themes of truth-telling, reconciliation, and synodality, offers a valuable space for reflection and engagement with the themes of the Plenary Council and Synod 2023.

The day began with a powerful opening performance by the Sydney Catholic Schools Arts HQ Performance Ensemble, a brand new work created specifically for the event. Featuring new songs and fresh choreography, the students delivered a ten minute piece touching on subjects of togetherness, open mindedness and inclusivity.

“It offered another medium to connect with people. This way of communicating though dancing and singing was powerful,” said Peter Gates, Deputy National Director of Catholic Mission.

The performance was followed by an immersive session where the participants were invited to witness the experiential truth-telling simulation of the Truth: from the heart. This immersive experience offered a great opening to the conference by setting the path for listening with open hearts and minds. This session was followed by the presentation of Dean Parkin, Director of From the Heart, on the importance of truth telling and reconciliation by reflecting on the Uluru Statement and The Voice.

“We gave it [the Uluru Statement] to you [the people] because that is where we put our believe and conviction,” stated emotionally Dean Parkin during his session.

The morning concluded with a discussion on the link between truth-telling, synodality and Mission with Dr Elissa Roper and Bishop Shane Mackinlay, Vice-President of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia. The presenters offered valuable insights and engaged in thoughtful discussions, igniting the hearts and minds of the attendees.

In the afternoon, participants attended various breakout sessions and workshops, including facilitated listening, dialogue, discernment, deciding, and acting sessions. Topics ranged from exploring the role of the church in the modern world to promoting social justice and inclusion. These sessions provided an opportunity for open and constructive dialogue, resulting in a deeper understanding of the challenges facing the church today.

To conclude this first day of the conference, a special Conference Mass was organized in partnership with Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Sydney. This unique celebration featured traditional Aboriginal elements, highlighting the importance of cultural diversity and inclusion in the church.

Attendees expressed their enthusiasm and gratitude for the first day's events, stating that the conference has already provided them with valuable insights and opportunities for personal growth. One participant shared, "The experience of participating in MOHMV is powerful and deeply engaging at different levels."