The Holy Father has convened a Synod titled: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.
This is truly exciting times for the Church as we begin this journey together as a Church. I have read the document (Vademecum) prepared by the Holy See for the Synod and I find it very enriching. Find below some of the riches (excerpts) I found in it. In the weeks to come, I will be sharing with us how we are to proceed as a parish in journeying with the Holy Father and our diocese in this Synodal Process.
Why did the Holy Father convene the Synod?
By convening this Synod, Pope Francis invites the entire Church to reflect on a theme that is decisive for its life and mission: “It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium.”
Following in the wake of the renewal of the Church proposed by the Second Vatican Council, this common journey together is both a gift and a task. By reflecting together on the journey that has been made so far, the diverse members of the Church will be able to learn from one another’s experiences and perspectives, guided by the Holy Spirit.
What is a Synod?
‘Synod’ is an ancient and venerable word in the Tradition of the Church, whose meaning draws on the deepest themes of Revelation. It indicates the path along which the People of God walk together. Equally, it refers to the Lord Jesus, who presents Himself as ‘the way, the truth and the life’ (Jn 14,6), and to the fact that Christians, His followers, were originally called ‘followers of the Way’ (cf. Acts 9,2; 19,9.23; 22,4; 24,14.22). First and foremost, synodality denotes the particular style that qualifies the life and mission of the Church, expressing her nature as the People of God journeying together and gathering in assembly, summoned by the Lord Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Gospel.
What is the objective of this Synod?
The objective of the current Synod is to listen, as the entire People of God, to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church. We do so by listening together to the Word of God in Scripture and the living Tradition of the Church, and then by listening to one another, and especially to those at the margins, discerning the signs of the times. In fact, the whole Synodal Process aims at fostering a lived experience of discernment, participation, and co-responsibility, where a diversity of gifts is brought together for the Church’s mission in the world.
The Jesus’ Approach
The Gospel witnesses to Jesus’ constant approach of reaching out to people who are excluded, marginalized, and forgotten. A common trait throughout Jesus’ ministry is that faith always emerges when people are valued: their plea is heard, they are aided in their difficulty, their availability is appreciated, their dignity is confirmed by God’s gaze and restored within the community. As Peter was changed by his experience with Cornelius, so too we must allow ourselves to be transformed by what God is inviting us to. Through the Synodal Process, God leads us on the common path of conversion by what we experience with one another. God reaches us through others and he reaches others through us, often in surprising ways.
Who are we to reach out to?
In this sense, the diocesan phase should begin by finding the most effective ways of achieving the widest participation possible. We must personally reach out to the peripheries, to those who have left the Church, those who rarely or never practice their faith, those who experience poverty or marginalization, refugees, the excluded, the voiceless, etc. The heart of the synodal experience is listening to God through listening.
The journey began in our community on Thursday, January 13 and concluded on February 10. We had our Synod delegates who represented us. However, anyone was welcome to join us each Thursday and many did. In the documents listed below you will find “Synod Consultation Plan 2022” with details on what was reflected on each week.
|St. John Vianney
|St. John Vianney
|St. John Vianney
We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name. With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it. We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions. Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right. All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time.
Below you will find various documents that you can download and review.
Please download and read the attached North American Final Document for the Continental Stage of the 2021-2024 Synod: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.
The Continental Stage of the Synod on Synodality concluded on March 31, at which time the CCCB, along with the United States Conference of Bishops (USCCB), submitted the North American Final Document for the Continental Stage to the Synod Secretariat.
The Final Document from North America, along with the contributions of the six other Continental Assemblies, will form the basis of the Instrumentum to be released by the General Secretariat of the Synod in June 2023.
Read more here.
Please download and read the attached Synod Synthesis of the Assembly of Western Canada Bishops, encompassing the contributions of the (arch)dioceses from Manitoba westward.
This report is a summarization of the various Synod Consultation Meetings and submissions that occurred in the Catholic Parishes of Penticton.
This report is a collection and summarization of the various Synod Consultation Meetings and submissions that occurred across the South Okanagan Deanery of our Diocese.
We encourage the different groups in our parish to discuss the attached questions in their group gatherings. Your responses will be very enriching to our parish, Diocese and the church as a whole. You can send us your suggestions, thoughts, feedback on these questions. Simply write your responses on a paper and drop it into the collection basket or send your responses by e-mail to email@example.com by March 6, 2022.