Pope Francis is inviting everyone to participate in the upcoming Synod of Bishops
The Vatican has approved an enhanced three-stage process in which they hope for greater participation from the whole Church at the diocesan, national and universal levels.
The Synod's theme is: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.”
What is a Synod? Simply put, a synod is a meeting or assembly of church leaders. The idea of a synod has New Testament roots in Acts 15. The purpose of the synod is not to produce documents, but “to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to be nourished, inspire trust, bind up wounds, and weave together relationships.
A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together:” How is this “journeying together” happening today in your particular Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?
1. Recall our experiences. That experiences in our particular Church does this fundamental question bring to mind?
2. Re-read these experiences in greater depth. What joys did they bring? What difficulties and obstacles have they encountered? What wounds did they reveal? What insights have they elicited?
3. Gather the fruits to share. Where, in these experiences, does the voice of the Holy Spirit resound? What is the Holy Spirit asking of us? What are the points to be confirmed, the prospects for change, the steps to be taken? Where do we register consensus? What paths are opening up for our local Church?
‘Listening Sessions’ will be held in February and March throughout the diocese, which is the process by which we will begin this important work. Through listening and reflection, we will share our personal experiences and seek to understand the Holy Spirit’s will for our local Church.
In order to ‘journey together’ we need to let ourselves be educated by the Spirit to a truly synodal mentality, entering with courage and freedom of heart into a conversion process that is indispensable for the continual reformation of which the Church always has need, in so far as she is a human institution.
Volunteers are need to make these sessions fruitful. Please consider volunteering in one of the following areas: hospitality team, notetakers, and table facilitators for the listening session. Please contact Barb in the parish firstname.lastname@example.org or Mary Casslemanemail@example.com ASAP.
Listening Sessions: Sunday, February 20th in the ABC rooms after 11 a.m. Mass @ 12:15 p.m.
Wednesday, February 23, in the ABC rooms @ 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 24, in the ABC rooms @10:00 a.m.
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