SYNOD OF BISHOPS 2023

SYNOD NEWSLETTERS 2022

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Janet Obeney-Williams, a member of the Jesuit parish of Farm Street in the heart of London, England, has been invited to be part of the coordination team for the parish synod.

At a recent symposium on synodality, Janet reflected on her participation and this moment in the Church’s history. She says she feels “absolutely transformed” as a person and as a believer.

The Synod in the World

The St Columban Missionary Society of Australia recently hosted a consultation for the Synod of Bishops attended by members of the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, a Muslim and a Jewish woman. For Father Patrick McInerney, more important than the final summary is the fact that the interreligious conversation took place.

From all over the world we receive well elaborated and very interesting contents related to this synodal process. From the Diocese of Xingu-Altamira, in Brazil, we share the website and the beauty of a video produced by the CNBB (National Conference of Bishops of Brazil).

Vulnerability and synodality: red thread of the 2022 UISG Plenary Assembly. With over 700 participants, the Plenary Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General was held in Rome from May 2 to 6 on the theme “Embracing Vulnerability on the Synodal Path”.

We need You!

We would like to remind you that for our next newsletters, we are looking for material on the activities of our local churches in the areas of Safeguarding of the Creation. We will also be exploring the figure of Mary, the face of the Synodal Church. If you hear of any activities or materials on these topics, please let us know.

Share Your Story

Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it?
Fill in the attached form and send it to media@synod.va.
If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!

Latest News

The infographic is now also available in other languages (FRA – ITA – POR – SPA) at this address.
The editable file (.ai and .eps) is available for those who would like to translate the infographic into another language at this other address.
And don’t forget to send us your translations!

#newsletter n.12 – 04/2022 

A question that returns frequently in our work is that of helping to understand and, above all, to show what it means to be a synodal Church, a Church of listening, a Church on a journey with all humanity throughout history. For this edition of the Newsletter, we propose to reflect on this through the metaphor of the frontier and the theme of welcoming LGBTQ communities on their own synodal journey….

Read the full editorial

Synodal process and LGTBQ communities

The ‘Gay Emancipation Foundation RK Priest Jan Veldt‘ developed large-scale activities for the LGBTQ community in the Netherlands and especially for its local community in Limmen and Heiloo. These activities consisted of a manifesto, publication in newspapers and reactions from groups of believers around the Synod and the LGBTQ community.

With Martin Scorsese as executive producer, the documentary ‘Building a Bridge’ follows Father James Martin in his call for greater acceptance of the LGBTQ community in the Catholic Church. The American Jesuit priest hopes that this audiovisual work “can be a contribution to the Church’s synodal journey”.

The Diocese of Parramatta in New South Wales, Australia, under the leadership of Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, invited LGBTQIA+ Catholics in the diocese to a conversation for the Synod of Bishops with the question, “If you had 10 minutes with Pope Francis, what would you say?”  A group met and in two meetings agreed on a statement that was presented to the diocese as a contribution to the overall synthesis of the diocese.

Earlier this year, US theologian Brian Flanagan spoke in a webinar on “Celebrating Synodality – Synods as Spiritual Practice” sponsored by New Ways Ministry. Although the meeting was attended by an audience more related to the LGBTQ community, the content shared can be used for a wider audience. Last April, Sister Nathalie Becquart, under-secretary of the Synod of Bishops, participated in another webinar with a talk on “Synodality: a path to reconciliation”.

Pray for the Synod

In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. You too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

One and Triune God, source of life, love, unity, peace, goodness, health and all goodness, bless our synodal journey as Church and human family so that we may sail together in communion, participation and mission.
From this common boat we ask you to assist us so that in the midst of the dangerous waves that assail us as humanity, we may recognise you on the shore and thus, once again, hear our name pronounced by your voice, as you called your disciples, St Francis, St Clare and each one of us… to a special mission as your disciples and missionaries for every brother and sister on the periphery who lacks love, dignity, bread and shelter.
Let us confidently sail towards you, encouraged by Mary’s loving presence and striving to be good Samaritans to one another. Amen.

Sister M. Graciela Trivilino osf
(Team of the General Direction of the Franciscan Sisters of Bonlanden-Argentina)

The following Newsletter’s story is actually three stories-testimonies that the synod leader of Immaculate Conception parish in Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA, Noelle Therese Thompson, collected during synod conversations with same-sex couples in presence and online.

Latest News

The infographic is now also available in other languages (FRA – ITA – POR – SPA) at this address.
The editable file (.ai and .eps) is available for those who would like to translate the infographic into another language at this other address.
And don’t forget to send us your translations!

San Beda College Alabang in Muntinlupa, Philippines, will host the 3rd Theological Convergence Conference at the end of May.

This time with the Synod as its theme and purpose “500 Years and Beyond – Shaping a Synodal and Filipino Catholic Church”. 

Students from the University of South Florida (USF) were pleasantly surprised to be invited to participate in the diocesan phase of the Synod on Synodality. Ryan Phelan, Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of St. Petersburg (USA), one of the facilitators said: “It was an experience of humility to be open to what young people had to say and possibly hear negative comments”.

The Synod in the World

Salesian Carlos María Collazzi, bishop of Mercedes (Uruguay) sent an Easter message to the faithful of the diocese in which he stressed that “we are living a synodal time”, inviting them to a diocesan meeting on 28 May in Ombúes de Lavalle.

The Synod’s Communication Commission recently met with the communication directors of Latin America and Brazil. Karina de Carvalho, Communications Advisor of the Paraná Region tells us how the Church in that region of Brazil is living this ecclesial event. 

An example of courage comes to us from the Catholic Church in Chad, despite the state of insecurity and instability in which the country finds itself. Father Omer Xavier KOULDJIM, national referent for the Synod and Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference, tells us how the initiatives put in place by the local Church to walk together with the universal Church.

We need You!

We would like to remind you that for our next newsletters, we are looking for material on the activities of our local churches in the areas of Safeguarding of the Creation and the involvement of LGBTQ communities in the sinodal process. For the month of May, we will also be exploring the figure of Mary, the face of the Synodal Church. If you hear of any activities or materials on these topics, please let us know.

Share Your Story

Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it?
Fill in the attached form and send it to media@synod.va.
If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!

Latest News

How to prepare the synthesis of the listening sessions?

Take a look at the infographic we have produced for a better understanding of this particular spiritual process and act of discernment in common. The infographic will soon be available in other languages.

#newsletter n.11 – 04/2022 

The synodal path wants to reach everyone, including the educational environment: first and foremost schools and universities. If synodality is an attitude, a way of being and living the community, it must be learned from childhood.
On the other hand, the educational community – once at the centre of our societies and ecclesial communities – has today become marginal, almost a periphery, despite the large number of people involved and its importance for the future of our societies and our planet. This is what probably Pope Francis wished to emphasise, promoting the Global Educational Pact (www.educationglobalcompact.org) ” to rekindle our dedication for and with young people, renewing our passion for a more open and inclusive education, including patient listening, constructive dialogue and better mutual understanding. Never before has there been such need to unite our efforts in a broad educational alliance, to form mature individuals capable of overcoming division and antagonism, and to restore the fabric of relationships for the sake of a more fraternal humanity”.
Below, we share a series of initiatives that testify how the implementation of the Global Educational Pact also passes through a synodal approach, that is, co-responsible for all the actors of the educational community.

Education, schools and universities

With the motto: “From the heart we look with gratitude, we live with passion and we build with Hope”, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts in Chile invited all the educational communities of Sts. Manquehue (Santiago), SS.CC. Viña del Mar, SS.CC. Concepción and San Damián de Molokai (Valparaíso) to participate in the SS.CC. Educational Synod. (2021-2022), which aims to create a meeting place to reflect on the Education of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts and its contribution to the Church, to Chile and to the world over the next 20 years.

The Catholic University of America in Washington DC is holding synod sessions, the last of which is scheduled for 27 April. The first moment of this synodal journey was attended by the apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. “All are welcome!”, invites the university.

As part of the local synodal process, the Diocese of Palmerston North in New Zealand has developed a series of resources for school communities. The coordination group welcomes the participation of children and young people.

The Catholic Education Office of the Diocese of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Diocesan Commission for the Synod organised two meetings to discuss the synodical journey in schools. On that occasion, “Teo and Kery” resources, an educational tool on the synod for boys and girls, was presented. About 500 people attended the meetings, including headmasters, board members, Catholic teachers and pastoral assistants from 110 Catholic secondary and primary schools in Hong Kong.

Pray for the Synod

In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. You too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

Prayer for the meeting of the synod’s commissions in Rome

Let us keep in mind in our personal and community prayer next week’s meeting of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops with the members of the four synod’s commissions in Rome.

Enlighten, O Lord, the hearts of the participants,
who represent the diversity and richness of the Church.
Dispose their minds to listen to the Spirit of truth
so that their work and their reflections may best
serve Your Church. 
Let them discover how to transmit
in the best way the experience of being a listening Church
and promote the participation of God’s people.
On this journey, to which we are all called
to be enthused by the fire of the Spirit
that gives the necessary gifts at the right time,
we want to open ourselves, together with Mary
to the newness of a life of faith
which is built in communion
on the paths of love and hope.

Monday Prayer for the Synod

The synodal process is first and foremost a spiritual process: without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our discussions, our reflections, our very discernment risks falling into the parliamentarianism, intellectualism and formalism often denounced by Pope Francis.
In order not to forget this and, above all, to support the synodal process, together with the UISG and the Pope’s Worldwide Network of Prayer, we propose to dedicate your daily prayer of every first Monday of the month precisely to the synodal path.
Praying for the Synod means asking for the gift of discernment, the patience to accept the slowness of those who walk with more effort, the conversion of the heart that opens to true listening, the courage to take the first step towards those who are furthest away from us, the humility to ask forgiveness for the wounds we have inflicted on our path.
Associate yourself with our prayers by witnessing your specific intention on our facebook page or instagram (synod_va) every first Monday of the month or by sending your prayer to english@prayforthesynod.va

The Archdiocese of Singapore, like many others around the world, does not want to leave anyone out of the Synod, so it has developed a series of materials for children to participate in the synod process.

Latest News

How to prepare the synthesis of the listening sessions?

Take a look at the infographic we have produced for a better understanding of this particular spiritual process and act of discernment in common. The infographic will soon be available in other languages.

NEWS RELEASE – 30.04.2022

Thinking about the Synodal Church

Meeting of the Commissions of the General Secretariat of the Synod

Rome, Casa La Salle, 25-29 April 2022

As, in different parts of the world, the listening sessions of the People of God draw to a close and the various ecclesial instances begin to pull the strings of their communal discernment, the members (about 60) of the four commissions (Theological, Spirituality, Methodological, Communication) of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome to deepen some aspects of the reference document of the synodal journey: the 2018 Apostolic Constitution, Episcopalis Communio.
 
“I ask you to harmonise Episcopalis Communio with the synodal process that has begun. Not to harmonise the ongoing process with the Apostolic Constitution. We must have the courage to imagine, to follow the Spirit that guides the Church in the rediscovery of its synodal dimension,” said Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, opening the meeting.
 
During the five days of work, the participants discussed some of the key points that have emerged during the journey so far: the sensus fidei fidelium, i.e. the contribution of the faith of the People of God to the ecclesial magisterium; episcopal collegiality and the Petrine (Papal) primacy in relation to ecclesial synodality; the relationship between discernment and ecclesial consensus; and the consultative or deliberative nature of synodal assemblies.
Particular attention was also given to the missionary dimension of the Church and its synodal structures.
 
The work, carried out in an atmosphere of fraternity and sharing, was marked by moments of prayer, plenary sessions and group work.
 
The content of the various working sessions will be published in due course in order to share the reflections carried out with the Church as a whole.

The Biblical Subgroup of the Spirituality Commission of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops has prepared a resource entitled Biblical Resources for Synodality,” which highlights how Scripture is at the heart of the synodal journey.

The Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception of Brazil has developed a very accessible resource that stands out for the simplicity of the image and the strength of the gestures it proposes, which can help in synodal meetings.

The Synod in the World

The testimony given by Fr Mathias Quédraogo, from the parish of St Louis de Temnaoré, in the diocese of Koudougou, Burkina Faso, shows us once again the commitment of the local communities in this phase of the synodal process, but also the difficulties encountered in making this participation a reality in some parts of the world.

The Archdiocese of Luxembourg has a hymn for the Synod, composed by Deacon Michele Camposeo, entitled “Come, Spirit of God”. Along with Camposeo, we can hear the voices of artists Emma C. and Rosamaria.

A group of children from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Rotherham (UK), composed the synodal poem “And a child shall lead them” (Is 11:6) as a reflection on the logo of Synod 2021-2023 and their journey of faith.

The way of the Cross

Look at that cross, do you see it? There, at the end of the road.
From the dawn I felt it calling me.
It looked at me and I looked at it, and in its shadow I could see the path I sought for my humble feet.

Look at his arms, don’t you see that they anticipate the embrace that we have been longing for, that was missing inside us?
Take my hand and let us walk the way of the cross.
Your strength will be rest. My steps, those that you walk.

Soon we will be arriving, and we will know that, in the end,
it is not the cross that is our destiny, but the light that lies behind it.

 
Ana Medina Heredia (Diocese of Malaga, Spain)

#newsletter n.09 – 04/2022 

Once again we come with new information and a theme that is inspiring and fundamental: The Word of God in the synodal journey. We are in a process of listening, in which we must be attentive to the Word like Mary. This Word will encourage and guide us in our journey as a pilgrim Church.

Synodality and the Word of God

The School of Biblical Animation of Barcelona (Spain) is developing a program of talks-colloquia on synodality based on the life and work of St. Paul. Contextualizing synodality in the life and mission of the Church, the program addresses different events, among many other topics, such as the Jerusalem Assembly (Acts 15), the Antioch incident (Galatians 2), the divisions in the Church (1 Corinthians 1) or the hymn to Love (1 Corinthians 13), among others.

The Brazilian diocese of Xingu-Altamira has prepared a Spiritual Itinerary with the Word of God, drawn from the biblical texts of the Synod preparation document, which offers resources for the synodal meetings. Read more

The Synod Commission of the Order of St. Augustine has prepared a synodal vigil in three languages (English, Italian and Spanish) with material to choose from, where special relevance is given to the lights that come to us through the Word of God. Read more

The synodal team of the Fraternity of St. Thomas Aquinas Associations (FASTA) of Mar del Plata (Argentina), has prepared a lectio divina around the Gospel passage of the disciples of Emmaus (Lk 24, 1-35), where the different parts of this practice of biblical reading and meditation are developed.

The Pro Oriente Foundation and the NGO Choose Abundant Life promoted in early March in Rabweh, Lebanon, an Ecumenical Youth Seminar on the theme of Synodality, with the participation of young people from the Middle East.

Pray for the Synod

In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. You too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

We need You!

For our next newsletters, we are looking for material on the activities of our local churches in the areas of Education-Schools-UniversitiesCare of Creation and involvement of LGBTQ communities.

In the month of May, we will also delve into the figure of Mary, face of the synodal Church. If you have news of activities or materials around these themes, please let us know.

Letter to priests on the synodal journey – 19.03.2022

Letter to priests on the synodal journey

Cardinal Grech and Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung sik write to priests worldwide
Vatican City, March 19, 2022

On the occasion of  the feast of St. Joseph, Cardinal Mario GrechSecretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung sikPrefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, write to priests worldwide about their contribution as pastors in the midst of the People of God to the synodal process.

With this letter, the two heads of dicasteries want to encourage priests to accept the invitation of Pope Francis “to set out, together, in mutual listening, in sharing ideas and projects, to show the true face of the Church: a hospitable “house”, with open doors, inhabited by the Lord and animated by fraternal relationships”.

The letter is available in ENGLISH – FRENCH – ITALIAN – PORTUGUESE – SPANISH – and in AMHARIC (ETHIOPIA) – ARABIC – CHINESE (TRADITIONAL) – CHINESE (SIMPLIFIED) – GERMAN – KOREAN – ROMANIAN –  POLISH – THAI – SWAHILI

On behalf of Card. Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, we send you the documents:

a)”Suggestions for Dioceses and Episcopal Conferences on the preparation of the synthesis ( https://bit.ly/36MBGhr)

b) and the “Letter to Priests on the Synodal Process (https://bit.ly/384wllV).

Please download the documents in your language, we would like to be sure that both documents have reached their respective recipients. We thank you for your availability. – The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops

Oscar Cantú, bishop of San José in California and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, was skeptical about synodality. His participation in the November 2021 Latin American Church Assembly changed his mind.

Read more …

The priest Christophe Godel, moderator of the Pastoral Unit of the Mountains of Neuchâtel (Switzerland), has proposed synodal meetings with very diverse people who have formed eight groups, considering community discernment.

Read more…

We share with priests a collection of prayers to keep synodality in mind during Sunday Masses. The synodal journey needs the prayers of all God’s people! Visit also www.prayforsynod.va.

Read more…

Father Geraldo Kalemesa took the Synod to the world of soccer, or rather, to the training of a local team of the Diocese of Setúbal: the Sports and Recreational Group of Águas de Moura.

Read more…

#newsletter n.08 – 03/2022 

Once again, we come with new information and a topic that is vital: that of the priests in the synodal journey. It is important that the people of God, of which the pastors are also part, feel that this process is an occasion to let us all be guided together by the Holy Spirit who is leading us to discover God’s will for the Church of our time.

SEND THIS NEWSLETTER TO YOUR PARISH PRIEST!

Priests in the synodal perspective

Exclusive preview

Cardinal Mario GrechSecretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and Archbishop Lazzaro You Heung sikPrefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, have written a beautiful and motivating letter to the priests of the whole world, which will be published tomorrow (19 March), the Solemnity of St. Joseph. In it they highlight the challenges of the synodal journey: “it will not be free of questions, difficulties and interruptions, but we can be confident that it will bring us back a hundredfold in fraternity and fruits of evangelical life”.

What do priests think about the Synod?

Want to know what priests think about the Synod? Just have a look at the videos of Fr Julio Segurado Cobos, parish priest of San Pedro Poveda in Jaén (Spain), the Coptic Bishop Bakhoum Hani Kiroulos in charge of the synodal process for the all catholic Church in Egypt, Fr.  Joseph Anucha Chaiyadej, Director of Signis Asia (Thailand), Fr. Paulo Alexandre Terroso Silva in charge of the Basilica of Congregados in Braga (Portugal) and the American well-known Jesuit Priest, James Martin SJ.

Read more…

Share our story!

Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it? Fill in the attached form and send it to media@synod.va.
If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!

Women are particularly involved in this synodal process, they are often the driving force behind synodality and have a great desire to “walk together”. On this 8th of March we want to give thanks for all their commitment to the service of synodality …

Read more …

The aim “Female Doctors of the Church and Patron Saints of Europe in Dialogue with Today’s World” International Interuniversity Conference scheduled for March 7 and 8, 2022 is to focus on the emblematic example of so many women in history to restore momentum and hope to the many challenges that characterize the dynamic contemporary world.

The Dutch Network of Catholic Women (NKV) translated the synod themes to questions specifically meant for women. The project is called ‘She has something to tell’ and Laetitia van der Lans tells us that the responses rate is surprisingly high for a small, secularized country. Among the most important questions are: what gives you joy in the Catholic Church? What are your dreams for the Church? Read more…

#newsletter n.07 – 03/2022 

Celebrating Woman’s Day

Caritas Internationalis and the British Embassador to the Holy See, Chris Trott, are organizing the event “Church and Society: Women as Builders of Dialogue” on March 8 in Rome, with online streaming. 

Read more…

 

Sr. Nathalie Becquart, Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, offers us a collection of texts dealing with the theme of women in the documents of the last two synods.

Read more…

 

Listen to five women speak about their roles within the Synod of Bishops on the Synod on Synodality at this event of last December hosted by the Australian Embassy to the Holy See, La Civiltà Cattolica and Georgetown University. Read more

 

The Maronite Church launched the initiative “Synod of Women” in Bkerké, at the headquarters of the Maronite Patriarchate: a unique ecclesial process and opportunity for shared discernment on the presence and mission of women in the Church and in society. Read more…

Leopoldina Reis Simões, journalist and member of the Synod’s Communication Commission, points out how the Lenten season fits in with the synodal journey, as it brings together aspects such as responsibility, conversion, and hope on a global level.

Read more …

The Bishop Conference of Colombia has prepared “Guidelines for living and celebrating the Easter Cycle in a synodal way” with biblical, patristic, pastoral and liturgical elements around the example given by Cornelius, Peter and the Christian Community of Jerusalem in a synodal perspective.

Read more…

The Synod in the World

The synodal team of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference (CEE) and those responsible for the diocesan phase of the Synod met on 1 March to take stock of how the synodal process is progressing and to concretise how to conclude the process in the dioceses and at the national level.

Read more…

Pray for the Synod

In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. From 2 November, you too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

We need You !

Soon we would like to focus on priests in this synodal journey. Share with us experiences of priests you know who have allowed themselves to be transformed by listening and who feel themselves walking together with the People of God on the path of discerning God’s will for the Church.

Share our story!

Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it? Fill in the attached form and send it to media@synod.va.
If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!

You all remember that one of our last newsletters was dedicated to music, or to the compositions created by various entities to animate the synodal process. The musical newsletter was well received, with messages of gratitude and messages of sharing new projects coming from all over the world. One of them came from the National Catholic Reporter newspaper.

#newsletter n.06 – 03/2022 

Once again, we have news in resonance with the season of Lent that leads us to Easter. Together, we will discover how the synodal process we are living is intimately connected to the path towards Easter, because together we are heading towards a process of listening to the Spirit, conversion, and discernment. Following the inspiration of the Word of God, let us live with intensity the high points of Christ’s life, so that we may be filled with renewed hope.

Celebrating the Paschal mystery

From March 2 and April 6, the FutureChurch association is convening six synodal meetings on Fridays during Lent. Each meeting deals with a theme and they are specially designed for a particular group of participants. Read more…

The Scottish Laity Network is engaged in a journey of discernment by which it seeks to “enable Scottish lay people to come together as disciples of Jesus” and, through prayer, dialogue and discernment, to find “new ways of being Church in Scotland in the 21st century”. Read more…

Pentecost Vigil Project” is a new Catholic organization created by professionals of the lay Catholic ministry, east coast of the United States (Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland) to “support synodality.” Patricia Clement, co-founder of PVP, explains the project, that has resources in English and Spanish. Read more…

The Synod in the World

The Archdiocese of Newark (USA) has created listening sessions, videos and a guide for Catholic high schools that encourage students to participate in the synodal process.

To know more…

The Diocesan Justice and Peace Committee of the Diocese of Uijeongbu (Korea) is organizing meetings and synodal listening sessions. The initiative will address topics deeply linked to the problems that young believers may encounter in their daily lives.
Read more…

As part of the synodal process and the work in promoting dialogue with other religions and with those who abandon traditional religious traditions, now in a synodal context, the Congregation of the Xaverian Missionaries in the United States is promoting a new collection of stories of abandonment and estrangement from the Catholic faith. Father Carl Chudy is the coordinator.

Read more…

 

The Synodal Process: an initial assessment – 23.02.2022

Cardinal Grech to American university students: “Be wise, ask the right questions”!

Video message of the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops on the occasion of the synodal meeting “Building Bridges” between Pope Francis and university students from across the American continent
 
You have a future, you have a vision, you have a project and I assume that you have also your fears whether you will see your dreams, your visions completed. But please you need to be wise and […] the key for wisdom is to put the right questions “. This is what Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, says in a video message to the university students of the American continent who will gather tomorrow, 24 February at 12 noon (CST), at Loyola University in Chicago to hold the synodal meeting entitled “Building Bridges”.
 
“And this exercise is taking place in a particular moment of the life of the Church. The Church is convoked in a synod. What does this mean? That the Church is listening to the questions of the People of God. The Church itself is making questions. So I really hope that this exercise will also contribute to this synodal process of the Church”. He concludes with an appeal “You can take part more directly in this synodal exercise, in this first phase which we call the consultation phase by taking part in this process in your particular Churches”.
 
The meeting is promoted by Loyola University of Chicago with the collaboration of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The organisation was entrusted to the Hank Centre for Catholic Intellectual Heritage, the Institute of Pastoral Studies and the Department of Theology at Loyola University. University students representing the entire American continent will participate, but anyone can register through the following link https://www.luc.edu/popefrancis
 
The meeting will be streamed live in Spanish, English and Portuguese at the following address: https://www.luc.edu/popefrancis

The full video message is available in English at this address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuMYsz7TstY

 

The Synodal Process: an initial assessment – 07.02.2022

The Synodal Process: an initial assessment

On Wednesday, January 26, 2022, the XV Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met in person and online. The following items were at the center of their work: a progress report on the synodal process around the world and the articulation of criteria for the “reports” prepared by Dioceses, Episcopal Conferences, the Synods of Eastern Churches and other ecclesial bodies.
 
About three months after the opening of the synodal process, the Ordinary Council expressed great satisfaction with the headway being made by the process at the local level. Close to 98% of the Episcopal Conferences and Synods of Eastern Churches worldwide have appointed a person or an entire team to implement the synodal process. The Ordinary Council’s assessment was bolstered by the results that emerged from exchanges during some 15 online meetings with synod appointees from around the world organized by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops from November-December in 2021.
 
The Synodal Process at the Global Level
The Church is on the move! Dioceses Both the laity (organized or not) and consecrated life in particular are showing great enthusiasm, which is being translated into a myriad of initiatives promoting consultation and ecclesial discernment. This is confirmed by the numerous testimonies received by the General Secretariat from all over the world, some of which are published periodically on the website synodresources.org. In addition to being a reasons for hope, they are also a sign that the Holy Spirit is at work. Those who have experienced this synodal process in action testify to an experience that brings joy and speak of a true transformation in their feeling of belonging to an ecclesial community.
 
In general, the timing, the modalities employed in the consultation, and the participation of the People of God vary from region to region. The synodal process has been particularly welcomed with joy and enthusiasm in several African, Latin American, and Asian countries. In places where a diocesan or national synodal process was already underway or about to begin, the two synodal dynamics have been successfully harmonized. The extension of the listening phase of the People of God has been particularly appreciated.
 
The documents published by the General Secretary have been well received, and commendable efforts have been made to translate them at the local level. In some countries, this task is further complicated by multiplicity of local languages and the distances between ecclesial communities.
 
The ecumenical dimension has been well integrated and follows the indications suggested in the joint letter of October 29 written by Cardinal Koch and Cardinal Grech. Even on the part of the other Christian confessions there is a certain enthusiasm and desire to contribute to the synodal journey undertaken by the Catholic Church. The interreligious dimension has become a natural part of this process in countries where Christians are in the minority.
 
A consistent effort has been made to promote communication through various media and online platforms. Many Dioceses and Episcopal Conferences have provided websites and social network pages recount the journey within their own realities. For its part, in addition to the institutional website synod.va, the General Secretariat communicates through a variety of instruments, such as a weekly newsletter, a website to collect experiences and resources produced at the local level (synodresources.org) and a prayer site for the synod (prayforthesynod.va) created together with the Pope’s World Prayer Network and the International Union of Superiors General.
 
Challenges
Many of the faithful perceive the synodal process as a crucial moment in the Church’s life, as a learning process as well as an opportunity for conversion and renewal of ecclesial life. At the same time, various difficulties have also emerged. In fact, fears and reticence are reported among some groups of the faithful and among the clergy. There is also a certain mistrust among the laity who doubt that their contribution will really be taken into consideration.
 
Furthermore, the current pandemic has constituted a significant obstacle, limiting the ability to meet in person. The consultation of the People of God cannot be reduced to a mere questionnaire because the real challenge of synodality is, precisely, mutual listening and communal discernment.
 
Other recurring challenges are: 1) the need for formation, especially in listening and discernment so that the Synod is authentically a spiritual process and not reduced to a parliamentary debate; 2) avoiding the temptation to be self-referential in group meetings so that this mutual listening, which finds its foundation in prayer and listening to the Word of God, will lead to opening ourselves to others with a view to proclaiming the Gospel. A synodal church is a missionary church where every single baptized person feels co-responsible for the mission of the Church; 3) finding ways to improve the participation of young people; 4) involving those who live on the margins of ecclesial institutions; 5) the reluctance of some clergy.
 
Conclusion
In summary, while it seems that the novelty of the synodal process has given rise to much joy and dynamism, a number of uncertainties must also be addressed. There is growing awareness that the synodal conversion to which all the baptized are called is a lengthy process that will prolong itself well beyond 2023. The desire all over the world is this synodal journey which has begun at the local level continue this journey well beyond Synod 2021-2023 so that tangible signs of synodality might increasingly be manifest as constitutive of the Church.
 
 
Note for the preparation of reports
In response to the numerous requests received by the General Secretariat, a Note is being prepared for Dioceses and Episcopal Conferences regarding how they are to prepare the “reports” that they will submit to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. It is a tool at the service of the various ecclesial realities that will be engaged in the coming months in drawing up the results of their ecclesial discernment. The note proposes the idea that the drafting of the report is itself an act of discernment, i.e. the fruit of a spiritual process and teamwork.
 
Download the text in PDF

Statement of Cardinal Mario Grech Secretary General – 05.02.2022

 

The Spirit continues to overflow from the Amazon two years after Querida Amazonia

It has been two years since the publication of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Querida Amazonia (QA) on February 2, 2020. Today, after the many responses to which this document has given rise in both ecclesial and civil spheres, the following observation can be made with certainty: the two most essential elements within this Exhortation are the lives of the peoples that are embodied therein and the promise made as a Church to respect and honor their voices in search of a genuine conversion.

Taking steps in this direction takes time. We have seen that seeds planted throughout this Synodal process reached a turning point with the presentation of Querida Amazonia. Some seeds are still in the process of germination, others have not borne fruit, but many have grown, are flourishing, and will continue to give life for generations to come. In all of this, Querida Amazonia remains as relevant now as it was then. It continues to be a love letter written for and with the People of God who are on pilgrimage in this beautiful and threatened territory; it abides as a letter emanating from Pope Francis’ gratitude for the power with which the Holy Spirit burst forth from this theological place (locus) to illuminate and awaken the heart of the world and that of the Church.

This letter includes the four dreams of Pope Francis and the Church that cannot be put off. These dreams (social, cultural, ecological and ecclesial) embody a revival of Vatican Council II’s most profound invitations, making QA a means by which the Church might be led to an integral synodal conversion to which Synod 2021-2023 invites us. Since its publication, God continues to manifest Himself amidst this territory’s sacred mystery in the lives of its peoples and in the testimony of an incarnate Church, at once holy and sinful. God is manifesting Himself here regardless of the fear of some to change, or the desire of others to impose an ideological view.

During the preparation for Synod on the Amazon, Pope Francis said: “the periphery is the center”. This statement can be understood to reflect a fundamental Gospel element which might shed light on the two years that have passed since the presentation of Querida Amazonia. That which used to be discarded or secondary in this territory has become a cornerstone, healing a broken world and creating new possibilities for the Church. This “way”, where the marginalized become a source of life, is proper to the very way of Jesus. Voices from the Amazon territory (their direct participation) are changing pastoral model for the Amazonian Church, becoming a source of renewed life for the Church and the world.

The exercise of listening to this territory and of effectively incorporating these voices in determining ecclesial projects has strengthened the Church so that the disciples of Christ might increasingly grow into being true subjects of their own history. Today, we cannot speak of Synodality without the effective participation of the holy faithful People of God. This awareness is a source of life and inspiration for Synod 2021-2023, For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.

That the Holy Father would canonically establish (ad experimentum) the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon (CEAMA) is but one fruit of the Synod on the Amazon and Querida Amazonia, opening a new path for the Amazonian Church’s pilgrim and missionary discipleship. CEAMA articulates the regional structures of the Church including the Latin American and Caribbean Episcopal Council (CELAM), the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious men and women (CLAR), CARITAS of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM).

At the moment, commissions and working groups are taking on some of the most urgent tasks that Querida Amazonia proposed for the Church’s mission. These commissions and working groups include the direct participation of diverse voices within the Church. In this way these commissions are a means by important Synodal proposals are guided and developed in an organic synodal way,

The breath of the Spirit of God coming forth from the Christ’s presence in the Amazonian Church continues to inspire and challenge us through the overflow of many fruits and gifts. On this 2nd Anniversary of Querida Amazonia, this breath of God’s Spirit continues to generate new life for the good of the Church.

Download the text in PDF

With her song “Poetas Sociales” the Catholic singer-songwriter Majo Febe, a student of Theology at the Theological Institute of Murcia (Spain), began the publication of a series of songs about synodality.

Listen to her here

The Diocese of Ipiales recorded a song for the synodical journey with musical groups from Colombia to attract young people who do not participate in the life of the Church.
 

The largest parish in the Catholic Archdiocese of Karachi, in the financial center of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is preparing for a new synod meeting Feb. 24.

Read more…

Pray for the Synod

In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. From 2 November, you too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

We need You !

In the near future, we would like to focus on the priests and their contribution in this synodal journey. Share with us the experiences of priests who have allowed themselves to be transformed by listening and who sit with the people of God on the journey of discerning God’s will for the Church.

#newsletter n.05 – 02/2022 

Our newsletter is more musical than usual. Because if singing is praying twice, this week we went in search of songs and hymns written to enliven the synodical process. What joy and creativity we found! Let’s listen.

Singing Synodality

Listen, let us listen” is the title of the hymn that the Antilles Bishops’ Conference shares with us through the website it developed specifically to encourage the synodal journey we are on. The authors are from the Diocese of St. George’s, Grenada.

The Synod in the World

The Loyola University of Chicago is inviting the university students of the Americas to participate in a synodal encounter with Pope Francis. The name of the online event on February 24 comes with a challenge: “Building Bridges North-South“. 

For more information…

In the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, a participatory synod process is taking place through the pastoral action of the Salesian community, the Missionary Sisters of Charles de Foucauld, and the Jesuit Refugee Service. Take a look at their Lumko Method and read some testimonies.

To know more…

The person in charge of WYD in Lisbon, Bishop Américo Aguiar, speaks about the connection between the Synod and WYD. 

Read more…

What do the young people say about their experience of the synodal process?
How do they collaborate in their respective realities?
How do they live their relationships and mission?
What are their hopes for this ecclesial journey? We listen to them.

Find out more…

God is love

“Love is the one who prays, love is the one who seeks,
love is the one who calls, love is the one who finds, love is the one who abides.”

Making these words of St. Augustine our own,
we walk together as a contemplative Church
with one heart and one soul in God, to communicate the joy of the Gospel.
Mary Mother of the Church, pray for us. Amen.

Itzela Rodriguez, Monastery of the Augustinian Mothers
of St. Joseph, Chitre-Panama

 

Pray for the Synod

In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. From 2 November, you too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

The synodal process turns the ecclesiastical pyramid upside down, according to a team from the synod of the Parish of Clare Priory in Suffolk (England).

We need You !

The reality of migrants and displaced persons is of particular concern to the ecclesial community. Share with us the experiences of participation of migrants in the synodal journey of your local reality or an organization that you may know.

#newsletter n.04 – 02/2022 

We focus on young people, on their hope, present and future. Pope Francis asks young people not only to be free and authentic, but also the critical conscience of society (Homily for the Solemnity of Christ the King, 2021). We have been looking, in the context of the Synod, at how young people are responding to this call of the Pope.

Sinodality and the young people

The Loyola University of Chicago is inviting the university students of the Americas to participate in a synodal encounter with Pope Francis. The name of the online event on February 24 comes with a challenge: “Building Bridges North-South“. 

For more information…

The Focolare Movement has entrusted the animation of the synodal journey of the young people to Teo and Kery, two friendly characters who dialogue with the young people on the theme of the synod.

To know more…

The young people of the Archdiocese of Lima work together from the Youth Pastoral on the Synod on Synodality. The song “Levántate” – “Arise”, has become their anthem. Listen and you will see how catchy its lyrics are. Find out more…

The Synod in the World

In India, two consultation questionnaires have been developed to involve religious communities and promote parish/diocesan consultation. 

Read more…

 

An International Symposium entitled “For a Fundamental Theology of the Priesthood”, promoted by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and the Center for Research and Anthropology of Vocations, will be held in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican from February 17-19. 

To know more…

The AMECEA -Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa- has created a website and a Facebook profile to provide information on celebrations, events, experiences, ideas, and reflections and to be a place for discussion. Now, this tool focuses on the synodal process in Africa. Read more…

The Archdiocese of San Fernando, Pampanga in the Philippines is promoting the Diocesan consultation phase through a website, entitled Mákiramdam, which translates “to listen” and “to feel” in the local language Kapampangan.

To know more…

Share our story!

Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it? Fill in the attached form and send it to media@synod.va.
If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!

Religious missionaries of the Divine Word hope that the Synod will serve “to live the synodal experience in their life and mission wherever they are carrying out their missionary presence”.

For more information…

With a new web portal, the UISG launches the theme of its next Plenary Assembly EMBRACE VULNERABILITY IN THE SYNODAL PATH, which will take place in three different moments.

The first begins with  online meetings from March 14 to April 4. The second in Rome, from May 2-6, and …..

With his book, Salvatore Cernuzio sheds light on a serious problem within the female consecrated life: the abuse of power, of conscience or sexual abuse within orders, monasteries, and institutes, which leads women and girls to put out the fire of their vocation and to abandon the religious path they have undertaken, even after years. It is they themselves, nuns, or former nuns, who are about to leave or have already left what for years was their “home”, who relate what they have suffered…. Read more

How to listen to the poorest in the Synod process? The Centre Sévres of Paris has prepared a tool for attentive and fraternal listening so that everyone can have a voice.

For more information…

Pray for the Synod

In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. From 2 November, you too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

We need You !

Consecrated Life and Young People are fresh air that moves the Church around the world, and therefore a fundamental element in this Synod. 

Share with us the experience of your consecrated life or youth organization in this synodal process, to share it with other experiences and narratives in Synod Resources.

#newsletter n.03 – 01/2022 

Did you know that, following Pope Francis’ message for the 26th World Day for Consecrated Life, the Prefect and Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life invited us to reflect on the word “participation” linked to the synodal process? In response to the call, we wanted to know how consecrated persons participate in the synod. We share some of the many materials that we received from all around the world.

Sinodality and Consecrated Life

The Pope Video

For religious sisters and consecrated women

Via the Pope’s WoVia the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer): https://www.popesprayer.va/

“Will religious life enter this path, as it is, few in number, humble, with a future without guarantees? However, the religious reminds us that consecrated life “is the bearer of a great evangelical adventure open to the future and to the breath of the Spirit. It is a demanding and exciting task, a long-term process of conversion.

Anne-Marie Grapton, secretary general of Corref (religious of France)
Read more in French…

Letter to the consecrated

Cardinal Mario Grech and Cardinal Joâo Braz De Aviz addressed the consecrated life in a letter in which the indicate some ways to participate in the synodal process.
Read more…

Cardinal Braz de Aviz and Archbishop Rodriguez Carballo, in charge of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CIVCSVA), write a letter to the consecrated people of the world inviting them to participate in the Synod, underlining belongingness and co-responsibility.

The Synod in the World

AMECA (Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa) and the Jesuits Conference of Africa and Madagascar, are providing resources that will enable the local churches in Africa to engage fruitfully in the synodal process.

Read more…

The Maronite Diocese of Antelias in Lebanon and the Bishops’ Conference of India use creative means to encourage the synodal journey and answer the fundamental questions: What is a synod, what are the differences between one synod and the other? Read More…

In silence, we listen

We come to you, Oh God,
in silence to listen with the ear of the heart 
to the indwelling voice of your Holy Spirit.

We pray for unity of all the poor,
the voiceless, the marginalized and all of those who are excluded.
Gift our bishops with open hearts and ears
to hear the Church, the people of God,
with wisdom, knowledge, patience and courage. Amen.

St. Scholastica Monastery – USA

Share our story!

Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it? Fill in the attached form and send it to media@synod.va.
If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!

Radio continues to play a significant role in raising awareness and promoting the Synodal process in Africa. This situation came alive recently as Radio Tumaini – a Catholic Radio station for the Archdiocese of Mombasa in Kenya hosted a panel of discussants

Young people and disability

Cristina Santiago Lizcano, a hospitaller religious sister, talks about how moved young people are when they come into contact with young people with mental illness.

For more information…

Synod as in a choir

Pope Francis, on the 56th World Communications Day, defined the synodal process as a “great occasion of mutual listening” and “not the result of strategies and program”…

For more information…

Two surveys and a booklet “to print and use”

A digital newspaper invited its readers to respond to two surveys on the Synod of Bishops.

For more information…

Pray for the Synod

In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. From 2 November, you too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

Spot the Difference! … with the Logo

Last December we published our logo with an important difference, which has given rise to a contest.

Continue to read…

We need You !

Consecrated Life and Young People are fresh air that moves the Church around the world, and therefore a fundamental element in this Synod. 

Share with us the experience of your consecrated life or youth organization in this synodal process, to share it with other experiences and narratives in Synod Resources.

#newsletter n.02 – 01/2022 

In this week’s newsletter, the protagonists are our brothers and sisters with special needs and how to involve them more in the synodal process. We are happy to be able to share stories and narratives from around the world as we continue to journey together.

Sinodality and disabilities

Special resources for special people

The departments of pastoral care with persons with disabilities of the Archdioceses of Newark and Washington, in the United States, are preparing various materials intended for persons with disabilities, so that all those who wish to contribute to the ecclesial discernment to which they are called, can participate in the synod. The different proposals are available in the space dedicated to the Synod of Bishops on the web pages of each archdiocese, with materials in English and Spanish.

Evanize Andrade stressed the importance of the person with a disability walking towards God to accept and overcome his or her condition.

The Synod in the World

Don’t miss out on participating!

Your parish does not organize a synodal meeting? Don’t worry. Synodmeetings.com offers you hundreds of possibilities to find a place. The website is designed to facilitate the participation of the faithful in the United States, with the support of the Jesuits of Canada and the U.S. Get involved!

Various resources

Various materials about the Synod are coming from France, Scotland, and Colombia: videos, articles, blogs, interviews, etc.

For more information…

Listen with the ear of your heart

Listen with the ear of your heart and hear the voice of God,
calling us to respond creatively and share the gifts we have.

Brothers and sisters, we are all one family,
building God’s Kingdom here on earth today.
Living the message of the Gospel in our lives,
we must strengthen one another in faith.

Sow the seeds of faith, hope and love:
what you plant will yield abundant fruit.
Work for peace and justice, freedom for all;
then shall the whole world live in harmony.

Whatsoever you have done unto the least of these,
in the same way you have done unto me.
Eat this bread and drink this cup in memory of me.
When you gather in my name, I am there.

Benedictine Monks of Weston Priory – USA

Pray for the Synod

Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it? Fill in the attached form and send it to media@synod.va.
If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!

The Diocese of Aveyron (France) has launched an original proposal to celebrate a family or friends’ meal to talk about the Synod. With the participation of all the diners, each dish deals with a question related to the Church.

To know more…

And for coffee we go to Quebec, where three bishops invite us to have coffee. Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Bishop Marc Pelchat and Bishop Martin Laliberté discuss the Synod.

To know more …

 

Synod is for everyone

The Society for the Latin Mass of England and Wales has developed a guide for the participation of its members.

If you want to know more…

Share your story!

Are you witnessing or living a particular synodal experience? Do you think you have experienced a good practice and want to share it? Fill in the attached form and send it to media@synod.va.
If your story appears to be original or considered a good practice, we will publish it in our next newsletter and who knows… maybe even in VaticanNews!

 

Next to every diocese in the world, next to every believer and next to every other dicastery of the Roman Curia, we too, as the Dicastery for Communication, have asked ourselves how we can take up the invitation to participate in the synodal process. How can we ensure that our contribution is not simply limited to ‘amplifying the voice of the Pope’, but rather becomes an opportunity for a synodal conversion, which concerns us all? How can we rediscover ourselves as ‘members of one another’ even in a body of the Roman Curia? How can we adhere to…

Continue to read…

Pray for the Synod

In order to support the synodal journey and ask for the Spirit’s assistance, together with the World Network of Prayers of the Pope and UISG, we have set up a website in 5 languages: Church on the Way. Pray for the Synod. From 2 November, you too can send your prayer. See how to do it… 

#newsletter n.01 – 01/2022 

Dear fellow travellers.

We send greetings to everyone! In this week’s newsletter, in addition to news from around the world with initiatives and celebrations related to the synodal process, we give importance to Ecumenism, in the context of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, this year with the theme: “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” (Mt 2:2).

Ecumenism and sinodality

The aim of the synodal process is “a hugely increased participation of the whole people of God in the life, the governance and mission of the church… If the process is successful, I think there will be a different appreciation of the Catholic Church, which will be very beneficial in the search for Christian unity.”

Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in an interview to the Lutheran World Federation

Ecumenical Meeting in Austria at the end of January

At the end of 2021, the Archbishop of Salzburg (Austria), Franz Lackner OFM, informed ecumenical dialogue partners about the synodal process and asked them to join the common journey on the basis of the bond of baptism and to share synodal experiences and traditions from their own confessional tradition. To make this possible, a meeting entitled “Synodality – Ecumenical Perspectives” will be held on 31 January, with the following speeches by Serbian Orthodox Bishop Andrej Cilderzic, Protestant Evangelical Methodist pastor Mag. Dorothee Büürma, the Lutheran superintendent Mag. Olivier Dantine and the former Catholic Vicar General Mag. Martin Eisenbraun.

For more information…

 

Northern Portugal hosted an ecumenical celebration

On the evening of January 18, in the Basilica of the Congregates of Braga, in the north of Portugal, several dozens of Christians participated in an ecumenical celebration with the theme “Following together the star that is Jesus Christ”. Archbishop Jorge Ortiga, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Braga, said: “We are here today to become aware that the world needs unity and communion, which begins by following that star. Only then will we be able to do something so that others may also follow us”. Jorge Pina Cabral, Bishop of the Lusitanian Church, said, he hopes that new paths will open up in the synodal journey, in the ecumenical movement and in the reality of Portugal, “so that the Epiphany of Jesus Christ will continue to happen in this time”. D. Sifredo Teixeira, bishop of the Methodist Church, said that “the churches need to cooperate to relieve the afflicted and burdened, to build a more just and honest society”.

Ecumenism and synodality hand in hand

From Argentina, the journalist and priest Marcelo Figueroa, has pointed out the importance of not forgetting the ecumenical and interreligious perspectives on the of the Latin American and Caribbean Ecclesial Assembly and the future of the Church in the continent, also taking advantage of the momentum of the synodal journey. It would be important “to be united with other Christian confessions of faith through prayer and the Word of God in a practical and not merely declaratory way. In humble listening, empathy, and acceptance of the worldviews of the native peoples of this indigenous, multicultural and multilingual continent”.

 

Sharing creativity

This week we suggest some audiovisual materials to deepen the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with creativity:

Father Zezinho invites us to meditate with his songs “Iguais”:
“But in one thing we are the same.
We seek the same God
We love the same Father
We want the same heaven
We cry the same laments”.
 

Iguais – Pe. Zezinho (Feat. Coro Edipaul) Paulinas Comep, Brazil

PRAYER FOR THE ECUMENICAL FELLOWSHIP CAMPAIGN – 2021

God of life, justice and love,
we praise you for the gift of fraternity
and for granting us the grace to live communion in diversity.

Through this Ecumenical Fraternity Campaign
help us to be witnesses of the beauty of dialogue
as a commitment of love, creating bridges that unite
instead of walls that separate and generate indifference and hatred.
Make us sensible and ready to serve all humanity,
especially the poorest and most vulnerable,
that we may be witnesses of your redeeming love and share their pain and anguish,
their joys and hopes,
walking the paths of love.

Through Jesus Christ, our peace,
in the Holy Spirit, restorer of the breath of life.
Amen.
 
* The Ecumenical Fraternity Campaign is an initiative organized every five years by the National Council of Churches of Brazil, formed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Confession of Brazil, the Episcopal Anglican of Brazil, the United Presbyterian, the Syrian Orthodox of Antioch and the Alliance of Baptists of Brazil.

We also recommend the sacred Oratorio SMOTRENJE “Lo sguardo” composed by Monsignor Marco Frisina, member of the Commission on Spirituality, performed on January 20, 2019 at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, on the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

 

The Synod in the world

Politicians in the diocesan phase of the Synod in Madrid

“What would you ask of the Church?”: this is the question that the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Carlos Osoro, has launched to more than twenty politicians from different parties whom he has convened in the chapter hall of the Cathedral of Almudena to participate in the diocesan phase of the Synod of Bishops.

Before giving way to the reflections of the leaders -among them, believers, and non-believers and of all the formations (Ciudadanos, Más Madrid, Podemos, PP, PSOE, Recupera Madrid and Vox)-, the Archbishop of Madrid thanked them for their good disposition and encouraged them to “build bridges”. Several local and regional leaders have valued the figure of Pope Francis and have cited the encyclical Fratelli tutti. They stressed the urgency of ensuring “respect for human dignity” and the centrality of the human being, while celebrating the work of the Successor of Peter for the care of creation or in defense of migrants.

Synodality: a possible solution in crisis situations

At the end of their Plenary Assembly, the bishops of the Central African Episcopale Conference issued a message in which they attempt to outline, in the light of synodality, some ways to find solutions to some of the country’s challenges.

Superiors of Congregations animate in the diocesan phase

The Superior General of the Daughters of Jesus, Graciela Francovig, invited all the sisters of the congregation to participate in the synodal process in the parishes because it can be a very rich moment of ecclesial collaboration.

For his part, Alberto Toutin, Superior General of the Sacred Hearts, invited his religious family to “listen to one another, so that this listening changes us, disposes us to the God who never tires of coming to meet us, through the voice of his Spirit”, within the synodal process in the different communities and works where the Congregation serves.

Listening to the voice of the poorest

The Centre Sèvres-Paris is planning a study day on 27 January on the “missionary dream of reaching out to all”. (Evangelii Gaudium 31).
Can participatory processes make this dream possible? How can listening to the poorest be a promise for the whole Church?

If you want to know more…

The program Últimas Preguntas on TVE, which is broadcasted every Sunday, is continuously monitoring the Synod. On January 16, it looked at the work being done in the different Spanish dioceses, mainly in the diocese of Palencia, which has stood out for the variety of materials offered to address the synodality in all ages.

Ecumenism and synodality

For the next newsletter, let us know your initiatives on the theme of “ecumenism and synodality” by sending the material to webmaster@synodresources.org
 
Have a good unity week and a good synodal journey!

News Release – 17 January 2022

Pray for unity, pray for the synod

For the forthcoming 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Cardinal Mario Grech and Cardinal Kurt Koch invite all Christians to pray for unity and to continue to journey together.
 
In a joint letter sent on 28 October 2021 to all bishops responsible for ecumenism, Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Cardinal Grech, General Secretary of the Synod of the Bishops, offered suggestions aimed at implementing the ecumenical dimension of the synodal process in the local churches. The two Cardinals wrote: “Both synodality and ecumenism are processes of walking together,” the two Cardinals wrote.
 
The 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on the theme “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” (Mt 2: 2) prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches, offers a propitious occasion to pray with all Christians that the Synod will proceed in an ecumenical spirit.
 
Reflecting on the theme, both Cardinals affirm “Like the Magi, Christians too journey together (synodos) guided by the same heavenly light and encountering the same worldly darkness. They too are called to worship Jesus together and open their treasures. Conscious of our need for the accompaniment and the many gifts of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we call on them to journey with us during these two years and we sincerely pray that Christ will lead us closer to Him and so to one another.”
 
The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity are therefore pleased to offer this prayer inspired by the theme, which could be added to the other intentions of the Week of Prayer:
 
Heavenly Father,
as the Magi journeyed towards Bethlehem led by the star,
so by your heavenly light,
guide the Catholic Church to walk together with all Christians during this time of synod.
As the Magi were united in their worship of Christ,
lead us closer to your Son and so to one another,
so that we become a sign of the unity that you desire for your Church and the whole creation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

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