Catalyst for Renewal

Seeking renewal through conversation

We are believers who are attempting to promote conversation within the Catholic Church of Australia and in the wider community. Our aim is to prompt open exchanges, 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)

A Spirituality of Conversation

Conversation is a process whereby we encounter others in a mutual search for what is true.

Conversation requires a willingness and ability:

  • To listen at depth for what is happening within me and between us,
  • To refrain from pre-empting the outcome,
  • To be transformed through this encounter with the other.

Conversation is much more than mere talk or discussion or debate or argument.

Conversation is at its best when the participants are together actively seeking to submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

A spirituality of conversation will emerge for participants as they give themselves to the process of conversation.

Breaking News

English priest and theologian James Alison will speak on the subject of radical inclusion in the church at The Great Hall of St Aloysius College on September 27. This forum will be of interest to everyone interested in the potential for a more synodal church to address issues of inclusion. It will be of special interest to members of the Catholic LGBTQIA+ community, family, friends and supporters of LGBTQIA+ Catholics, women and divorced and remarried Catholics. Click here for details.

UPDATE:  James has now arrived in Australia and has commenced his engagements in Melbourne, to very strong reviews: "people gave me fantastic feedback afterwards about how good his presentation was and how interesting and knowledgeable he is" (Event Organiser).

James is now in Sydney and looking forward to his presentation on Wednesday night. It's not too late to get your tickets!

James Alison with Catalyst President, Denise Playoust at Sydney Harbour, 25 September.

Bishop Danny Meagher and Emeritus Professor John Warhurst spoke about “The Future of the Catholic Church: Creating Unity through Diversity” at a Q&A in the Crypt on Sunday 27th August. To read a brief report of the forum, listen to an audio recording of both talks and download the papers of both speakers, click here.

On Sunday 25 June 2023, Fr Richard Lennan addressed a Q&A in the Crypt forum on the subject of  “An In-Between Church in An In-Between Time”. It was once again a privilege to hear and engage in conversation with this outstanding Australian theologian, visiting home from his Chair in theology at Boston College, USA. To read a brief report of this forum, access the audio recording of Richard's address and download his slides and his sheet on current challenges for the church, click here.

For more reports of Catalyst's activities, visit our News page.

Highlights of our upcoming events:

Our Next Event

Coming Up

Next SIP Event

Upcoming Events from Other Organisations

Australian Catholic Historical Society Inc.

15 October 2023 - Dr Peter Cunich, College historian, St John’s College (University of Sydney)

St John’s College: on the way to a history

More information:


Gabriel Marcel Institute of Philosophy

Conference:  T S Elliot and Religion

17 Augusta Street, Strathfield, Sydney NSW 2135.

Saturday 28 October, 2023

More information: