May 2010: After many months of discussion and discernment, The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) elect Archbishop Mark Coleridge (Canberra and Goulburn), Bishop David Walker (Broken Bay), Bishop Michael Putney (Townsville) and Bishop Tim Costelloe sdb (Melbourne), to form a Working Party to develop the outlines of a proposed Year of Grace.
December 2010: The ACBC appoints Fr Peter Brock as National Project Officer for A Year of Grace.
May 2011: The Australian Catholic Bishops unanimously support the Year of Grace proposal which will see the year based on Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (At the Beginning of the New Millennium). The Year of Grace is to begin at Pentecost 2012.
July 2011: A Diocesan Coordinator is appointed by every Bishop and Eparch in Australia and a National Conference of Diocesan Coordinators for A Year of Grace is held in Sydney.
September 2011: A National Planning Team is formed, to work with Fr Peter Brock in the detailed preparation for A Year of Grace.
November 2011: Archbishop Wilson, as President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, issues a Pastoral Letter to the Catholic people of Australia announcing the Year of Grace. Letters about the Year of Grace are also sent to the clergy and religious, to members of various church agencies and associations, to the heads of Catholic Education Offices, and to the heads of other Christian Churches.
December 2011: www.yearofgrace.catholic.org.au, the website for the Year of Grace was established. In due course this will contain a wide range of resources for use by dioceses, parishes, schools and individuals.
May 2012: Diocesan Coordinators will meet again in Sydney to review plans and share resources. They will meet with the Australian Bishops during their Plenary Conference being held at the same time, and will formally launch the Year of Grace at the national level.
27 May 2012, Pentecost Sunday: Formal commencement of A Year of Grace throughout Australia.
Lent 2013: A Lenten Program leading up to a special Liturgy, namely:
Fifth Sunday of Lent 17 March 2013: a Liturgy called Bringing our Wounds to Jesus – A Celebration of Repentance.
Throughout the whole Year of Grace there will be emphasis on prayer (personal, parish, liturgical, in the home, retreats, etc.) and on opening up the Word of God in the Scriptures.
On dates yet to be determined, during 2012 there will be other events, liturgies and resources centred on particular groups or issues (such as families; the sick; migrants and multicultural groups; young people, etc). Where possible, these would be arranged to fit in with already established “Sundays” or “Weeks” (Social Justice Sunday, Migrant and Refugee Sunday, etc.)
There will also be national e-conferences, on various topics connected to the Year of Grace, the Year of Faith the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council.
1 November 2013: Although the Year of Grace is due to finish at Pentecost 2013, the Year of Faith is to continue until the end of the liturgical year. For this reason, the final Liturgy for the Year of Grace / Year of Faith will take place to coincide with the Feast of All Saints. This will be a Liturgy called Face of Jesus, Faces we Know – A Celebration of Holiness. It will echo one of the central themes of the Second Vatican Council, the universal call to holiness.