by Fr Nino Vinciguerra
Pope Francis has just announced a two-year period that will start on 9-10 October, whereby dioceses around the world take centre stage and engage in reflection on the theme For a synodal Church: communion, participation, mission. A journey, which will end in October 2023 with the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
“Let the Spirit speak to us.” said Pope Francis.
Fundamentally, it is asking the whole Church to discern what is the Holy Spirit saying to us today and so that we can truly walk together with our God, as God’s people.
If all this sounds a little familiar, if it sounds a little like the Plenary Council preparations we are engaged in Australia, then you are right !
As Pope Francis states in the document to assist dioceses to prepare for this Synod:
“Many regions already have established processes for engaging with the faithful at the level of their parishes, movements, and dioceses. We are conscious that there are a number of countries where the local Church has initiated a synodal conversation of its own, including the Plenary Council in Australia …”
This 2023 Synod in Rome, is asking and challenging the world wide Church at all levels to discern what the Holy Spirit is saying to us today. The whole Church, from the very committed to those on the margins, are invited to be part of this journey. It is together that with the Spirit, we will scrutinise the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel. So that we can discern the direction in which the Spirit is leading us.
On a very similar journey, the Parish Renewal team have dedicated this year to assisting parishes to listen to the Holy Spirit, to see where the Spirit is leading your parish. Discovering the direction, the plans that God has for you a parish community.
We will be conducting the second Part of our formation of parish pastoral councils in October and November. Information and details of the sessions are available here on our website, simply click on Parish Pastoral Council Formation Series ‘panel’.
Part One of the formation held earlier this year was very successful, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback, and as a follow-up to the Part One sessions we are very thankful to have Richard Win Pe as part of our team. He is visiting parishes and providing practical assistance to parishes as they engage in planning the pastoral activity and initiatives of their parish community.
For more information on the Synod 2021 – 2022 in Rome :
Click on this Link, it will take you to the official online site of the Synod.