The Forum was launched 18th of July 2005 when we hosted our first speaker. As we approach the end of 2016, fifty-eight Forums have been organized with seventy-seven speakers having addressed these Forums.
The Forum is a pastoral endeavour of the St. Thomas More Parish and it operates as a committee of the Parish Council. There is strong support from the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. The then Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn Francis Carroll was forwarded a letter of advice outlining the objectives and proposed direction for the Forum. Archbishop Carroll replied offering his congratulations and his positive encouragement. His successor, Archbishop Mark Coleridge has been an important speaker and contributor to the St. Thomas More Forum. The Archdiocese pastoral support agency Catholic Life supports the Forum in important ways including the ongoing development and management of our website, database and electronic communications strategies.
Speeches presented at the Forum appear on our website. The first book of speeches was published in December 2007, The St. Thomas More Forum Papers 2005 – 2007 contains the speeches from those Forums since inception. Our second book, The St. Thomas More Forum Papers 2008 – 2016 will be released in the near future.
There have been many highlights. one of which includes the presentation of the Annual St. Thomas More Lecture. There have been twelve Annual Lectures, copies are available on this website.
Another highlight has been the revelation of the extent that faith does influence the private and the public lives of many of our speakers. Our audiences have often been inspired, encouraged and uplifted by the expression of these thoughts and views by our speakers.
In the future we plan to continue to cover a number of subject areas including the challenges facing those in public life, education, health, the media, adult faith formation and the work and family dilemma. We expect to continue to invite speakers from among the professions, academia, business, journalism, clergy, family based organizations and all sides of politics.
The Forums are conducted at the Holy Faith Hall next to the St. Thomas More Parish Church at 30 White Crescent, Campbell in Canberra.