Catalyst for Renewal

Seeking renewal through conversation

We are believers who are attempting to establish a forum for conversation within the Catholic Church of Australia. Our aim is to prompt open exchanges among the community of believers, mindful of the diversity of expressions of faith in contemporary Australia. This springs explicitly from the spirit of Pope John XXIII and Vatican II: “Let there be unity in what is necessary, freedom in what is unsettled, and charity in any case.” (Gaudium et Spes, n.92)

We are constantly aware of the emphasis placed by Pope Francis on the importance of dialogue and conversation with others - not only with members of our own faith tradition but with those who are ‘church shy’; or see themselves on the fringe of conventional religious experience; with those from other Christian churches and other faith traditions; with those of no particular religious affiliations at all; with some who do not believe in God… We firmly believe that we have much to learn from each other.

Information about Catalyst Events

Announcement Regarding the Covid-19 Pandemic

For the time being, Catalyst for Renewal has suspended most of our 2020 program of face to face events.

Decisions about SIP gatherings and Reflection Mornings will be made as each event approaches. We will act in accordance with current advice, choosing to err on the side of keeping our supporters and the community safe. We apologise for the uncertainty.

For more information, please monitor this website or email

In the meantime, a program of online events has commenced on an experimental basis. See below for more details.


Catalyst Forum with Sister Joan Chittister OSB

Sister Joan was scheduled to speak at Monte Sant Angelo College, North Sydney on the evening of Tuesday 15 September 2020. This event has now been postponed.

Sister Joan has informed us that she remains committed and keen to travel to Australia as soon as possible. Obviously, with our borders remaining closed for the foreseeable future, this is not likely to happen this year. We will reschedule the forum, in consultation with Sister Joan, when government health orders are such that we can plan with certainty. We sincerely apologise for being unable to proceed with the forum on the originally scheduled date.

Ticket holders for the Sr Joan forum are offered two alternatives:

  • you can request a refund of your purchase by sending an email to ; refund requests will be processed within 14 days of receipt, to the credit card used to purchase the tickets.
  • otherwise, your tickets will remain valid for the rescheduled event, when that is determined. (In this case, there is no need to contact us - we will keep you informed of further changes.)

If you select the second option, we'll be sure to inform you of the revised arrangements and your ticket price will be protected against any increase that may apply (due, for example, to increased travel costs for Sr Joan or if our preferred venue is not available for the alternative date). You may of course still request a refund at any later time.

Robert Fitzgerald AM

Our Catalyst Dinner scheduled for Friday 30 October 2020 has been cancelled.   Robert has agreed to speak at our Dinner scheduled for March 2021.   This will of course be subject to public health orders applicable at the time. We will decide in early January whether we are able to proceed with the dinner.

Catalyst and Aquinas Academy Reflection Mornings

Reflection Mornings at Lawson in the Blue Mountains will have one more event in November.    At the moment the plan for November is to include a consideration of the person of Jesus who walked the earth. - how did he approach the world he was confronted with.

Please continue to monitor this site for information about our 2021 program.

Reflection Mornings at Hunters Hill will not recommence this year as face to face events. We are exploring the possibility of continuing our program online. Please continue to monitor this site for information about our 2021 program.