Synodal Process


Dear People of God,                                                              

Pope Francis wants to hear from the whole Church about what is happening in local parishes. He would like to know what individuals think we should all be doing to help make our parishes and the Church better.

The way he has proposed doing this is a synodal process. Synod means “journeying together” and it involves listening to the Holy Spirit and to each other in order to discern the path we are called to walk together. This Synodal Synod’s theme is “"For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission".


The center of the synodal experience is found in a series of local meetings or consultations,
where the local Church listens together to answer this fundamental question:

A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.”
How is this “journeying together” happening today in your local Church?
What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?

We are meeting one to four times to talk about the above question in small groups or on the phone. The responses will be synthesized and sent to the proper place to be given to the Pope and the committee.

                                                                                                May we journey together
                                                                                                Sr. Zoe




The theme of the Synod is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.” The three dimensions of the theme are communion, participation, and mission. These three dimensions are profoundly interrelated. They are the vital pillars of a Synodal Church. There is no hierarchy between them. Rather, each one enriches and orients the other two. There is a dynamic relationship between the three that must be articulated with all three in mind.

By his gracious will, God gathers us together as diverse peoples of one faith, through the covenant that he offers to his people. The communion we share finds its deepest roots in the love and unity of the Trinity. It is Christ who reconciles us to the Father and unites us with each other in the Holy Spirit. Together, we are inspired by listening to the Word of God, through the living Tradition of the Church, and grounded in the sensus fidei that we share. We all have a role to play in discerning and living out God’s call for his people.

A call for the involvement of all who belong to the People of God – laity, consecrated and ordained – to engage in the exercise of deep and respectful listening to one another. This listening creates space for us to hear the Holy Spirit together, and guides our aspirations for the Church of the Third Millennium. Participation is based on the fact that all the faithful are qualified and are called to serve one another through the gifts they have each received from the Holy Spirit. In a synodal Church the whole community, in the free and rich diversity of its members, is called together to pray, listen, analyze, dialogue, discern and offer advice on making pastoral decisions which correspond as closely as possible to God’s will (ITC, Syn., 67- 68). Genuine efforts must be made to ensure the inclusion of those at the margins or who feel excluded.

The Church exists to evangelize. We can never be centered on ourselves. Our mission is to witness to the love of God in the midst of the whole human family. This Synodal Process has a deeply missionary dimension to it. It is intended to enable the Church to better witness to the Gospel, especially with those who live on the spiritual, social, economic, political, geographical, and existential peripheries of our world. In this way, synodality is a path by which the Church can more fruitfully fulfil her mission of evangelization in the world, as a leaven at the service of the coming of God’s kingdom.

 Synod means “journeying together” and it involves listening to the Holy Spirit and to each other in order to discern the path we are called to walk together. The synod "is intended to inspire people to dream about the Church we are called to be, to make people's hopes flourish, to stimulate trust, to bind up wounds, to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to build bridges, to enlighten minds, warm hearts, and restore strength to our hands for our common mission.” Synod Handbook

ITC, Syn.  International Theological Commission, Synodality in the life and mission of the Church (2 March 2018)





Prayer for the Synod:  Adsumus Sancte Spiritus

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, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen.



The Second Conversation

Song: All Are Welcome

Prayer to Holy Spirit

Question for reflection:  Recall your experiences in your local Church and Diocese of when and how you journeyed or not journeyed together.

How is journeying together to announce the Gospel happening today?
Who else do we need to reach out to, to listen and learn from or include in our faith community?
Who is absent from this discussion?

What do you think would make our Parish better?
What might we do to improve our parish?
What can each of us do and what can we do collectively to make it better?
How do we see our parish becoming more aware of how much their faith and insight count and are needed to be heard?

Listen. Everyone will be given time to share their reflection on the questions.  There is no discussion.  Simply listen deeply to each person.  Take notes if you wish.  Each person’s sharing is followed by quiet.  What did you hear?

Dialogue. Each participant shares what struck them most and what moved them during the silence.  Some dialogue can occur.  Once again this is followed by a time of silence.

Reflection.  Each participant reflects on what seems to be resonating in the conversation and what moved them most deeply.  New insights and even   unresolved questions  are noted.

Gather the fruits to share: Where in these experiences does the voice of the Holy Spirit resound?
What is the Spirit asking of us? What are the points to be confirmed, the prospects for change, the steps to be taken? Where do we register a consensus?
What paths are opening up for our local Church?