Helping people walk the Synodal Way

Pope Francis has asked the whole Catholic Church worldwide to engage in a process
of discernment under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This process is called a synod. It
involves everyone in the Church – clergy, religious, and lay Catholics, each participating
according to the gifts and charisms of their vocation. The word ‘synod’ comes from
two Greek words ‘sun’ meaning together and ‘hodos’ meaning way. The English word
synod therefore mean making our way tougher, journeying together along the way,
united in Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

As everyone journeys together, listening first to the Lord in their heart and them
speaking openly and listening with each other, we learn to hear the voice of the Lord
speaking to us. Pope Francis describes it like this: ‘Synodality is a style, it is a walk
together, and it is what the Lord expects from the Church of the third millennium’
(Address to the International Theological Commission, 29 November 2019).

The Synodal Process we are undertaking is guided by a fundamental question:
How does ‘journeying together’ take place today on different levels (from the local
level to the universal one), allowing the Church to proclaim the Gospel? And, what
steps is the Spirit inviting us to take in order to grow as a synodal Church? (PD 2)
In our Archdiocese, Archbishop John is inviting everyone to respond to the invitation
of Pope Francis and take part in the initial diocesan listening phase of the Synod. Each
local parish is asked to host a meeting, or series of meetings, where conversations
about the Church’s mission in the life of the parish and the diocese can be prayerfully
examined; and where the will of the Lord can be discerned, as we seek to grow in faith
and number.

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