This week I want to deviate from my sharing on the Credo and share, instead, about an important event that Pope Francis wants to hold in October 2023. The event is a Synod, which is an assembly of Bishops from the entire world. The Pope thinks that the Catholic Church is a Communion of the children of God; so, It should involve the Participation of the faithful; and in this way the future Mission of the Church has to be decided.
It is a general practice in the Catholic Church to hold a Synod every four years, to discuss an important topic, related to our life of faith or administration. However, in October 2023 Pope Francis wants to hold a special Synod, to discuss about the future Mission of the Church, based on ten topics mentioned below. He believes that this special Synod should not be like the usual Synod with the assembly of Bishops, but it should be Synodal, namely, involve the entire people of God. This Synodal process of preparation will be based on three pillars, namely, Communion, Participation and Mission and our cooperation is required in this process.
With this purpose, opinions of the Parishioners in each Parish are going to be collected on ten topics, mentioned below and subsequently a consolidated report will be sent to the Diocese. Our Parish-level consultation will begin starting from next week. Please look for a two-page bulletin insert, with two topics, one on each side with a few questions. Under each question, there will be a rectangular space; your response is expected within this space. Your personal opinion or of your family could be hand-written or typed. You may take a week to reflect either personally or as a family; after having completed answering all the questions, you may kindly drop the sheet in the collection basket, when you come to the Church for the following Sunday Mass. The same process will be carried out for the next five weeks, as mentioned below. Kindly cooperate and let your voice be heard.
The following are the ten topics and the dates with a two-page bulletin-insert:
- Topics: Listening and Speaking out – Bulletin insert on February 13, 2022.
- Topics: Companions on the Journey and Sharing Responsibility for our Common Mission – Bulletin insert on February 20, 2022
- Topics: Celebration and Dialogue in Church & Society – Bulletin insert on February 27, 2022
- Topics: Ecumenism and Authority & Participation – Bulletin insert on March 6, 2022
- Topics: Discerning & Deciding and Forming Ourselves in Synodality – Bulletin insert on March 13, 2022.
God bless you
Fr. Arul Joseph V.