Every so often the Church across the world needs to renew itself. Over the last year, Pope Francis has been asking Catholic Christians across the world to look on the Church in a new way. The name he has given to this new way is ‘the Synodal Way’. The word ‘synod’ means ‘walking together’. What Pope Francis has in mind is for all the people of God to listen to one another and then, together, to plan a way forward for the Church. Every baptized person has a part to play. Every Christian, who has something to contribute, is entitled to be listened to and have their views communicated to the Synod Committee. Every baptized person experiences God’s love and the salvation won for us by Jesus Christ. It is these experiences that keep our faith alive and vibrant.
The Synodal Assembly: The Church in Ireland and across the world is preparing for the Synod Assembly. Pope Francis launched a two-year global consultation in the Vatican on the 10th October 2021. The pope askes that parishes and dioceses across the world discuss their experience of their faith and their Church and to provide feedback to the Synod Assembly.
What can we do to further the Synod? Pope Francis asks that, within the parish, we listen to one another and build understanding with all our sisters and brothers. Each person has something to teach us when we listen to them respectfully. Pope Francis explains that all the baptized must take responsibility for the future of the Church and the passing on of the Christian message. Together, we seek to discover, through prayer and reflection, what God wants of his Church at this time. How can parish communities flourish without the leadership of a priest?
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.