For a Synodal Church
From the Desk of Father David
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Last weekend, our Diocese joined with the Universal Church in beginning the Synodal Process. It is the hope of Pope Francis and the Bishops of the world that this process will strengthen the whole Church. I believe they are right because of the governing attitudes that will guide the process as well as I believe that you will participate, thereby strengthening our parish. Listed below are some of the governing attitudes of the process. For the complete document which explains the whole process go to www.press.vatican.va or search “For a Synodal Church.”
Being synodal requires time for sharing: We are invited to speak with authentic courage and honesty in order to integrate freedom, truth, and charity. Everyone can grow in understanding through dialogue.
Humility in listening must correspond to courage in speaking: Everyone has the right to be heard, just as everyone has the right to speak. Synodal dialogue depends on courage both in speaking and in listening. It is not about engaging in a debate to convince others. Rather, it is welcoming what others say as a way by which the Holy Spirit can speak for the good of all (1 Corinthians 12:7). Dialogue leads us to newness: We must be willing to change our opinions based on what we have heard from others. Openness to conversion and change: We can often be resistant to what the Holy Spirit is trying to inspire us to undertake. We are called to abandon attitudes of complacency and comfort that lead us to make decisions purely on the basis of how things have been done in the past. Synods are an ecclesial exercise in discernment: Discernment is based on the conviction that God is at work in the world and we are called to listen to what the Spirit suggests to us. Leave behind prejudices and stereotypes: We can be weighed down by our weaknesses and sinfulness. The first step towards listening is freeing our minds and hearts from prejudices and stereotypes that lead us on the wrong path, towards ignorance and division. Cure the virus of self-sufficiency: We are all in the same boat. Together we form the Body of Christ. Setting aside the mirage of self-sufficiency, we are able to learn from each other, journey together, and be at the service of one another. We can build bridges beyond the walls that sometimes threaten to separate us – age, gender, wealth, ability, education, etc. Give rise to hope: Doing what is right and true does not seek to attract attention or make headlines, but rather aims at being faithful to God and serving His People. We are called to be beacons of hope, not prophets of doom. We are signs of a Church that listens and journeys: By listening, the Church follows the example of God himself, who listens to the cry of his people. The Synodal Process provides us with the opportunity to open ourselves to listen in an authentic way, without resorting to ready-made answers or pre-formulated judgments.
he life of faith that people live in a concrete way. Understanding the concept of a co-responsible Church: To value and involve the unique role and vocation of each member of the Body of Christ, for the renewal and building up of the whole Church. Synods are a time to dream and “spend time with the future”: We are encouraged to create a local process that inspires people, with no one excluded to create a vision of the future filled with the joy of the Gospel.
These attitudes can be used at family gatherings and every time we meet with other people for “business” or fun. Please prayer frequently the Prayer for the Synod found in this bulletin.
May the Holy Spirit strengthen our resolve to live these attitudes by always striving to put on the mind of Christ.
Peace and healing,