The Synod process has begun in the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore. Projects are underway to receive submissions to questions that will help the Church understand how we can journey together in our faith. Please go the Synod page on this website where you will find the online submission facility to receive your very important input.
What do we mean by “Synodality”?
Pope Francis has called for a world-wide Synod on Synodality to culminate in Rome in the Autumn of 2023. A synod is a council of the Church usually convened to think and pray and discern together on a specific topic. Simply put ‘synodality’ means ‘journeying together’. Pope Francis explained that the Synod provides “Time to look others in the eye and listen to what they have to say, to build rapport, to be sensitive to the questions of our sisters and brothers, to let ourselves be enriched by the variety of charisms, vocations, and ministries.”
This is a noble goal and one which we would all desire. How can we make it more a reality in our Church? We should remember that many in our Diocese and our parishes are already trying to journey with others. It is not as if we have no collaboration or listening going on. Far from it. There are numerous examples of ‘synodality’ in terms of Parish Pastoral Councils, Finance Committees, Senate of Priests, care of the sick and elderly parishioners, parish meetings, Alpha courses, parish events, etc. We should honour what we already have.
But we know that large numbers of people are, for whatever reason or reasons, estrange from the practice of the faith. This synod is a call to face this issue head on. We have a duty to reach out. All the baptised are called to the mission of holiness, inviting others to come closer to Christ and live as He asks us to. So many are walking in other directions.
How will this process work?
To accomplish this, Pope Francis wants deep conversations with others, listening to their stories. Everyone has his or her story. But first of all, the Holy Father says we need to listen to the Holy Spirit. Trying to find out, to discern what the Holy Spirit is saying is key. He says we need to set aside:
“…Time to devote to prayer and adoration — this prayer that we neglect so much: to adore, to make room for adoration — listening to what the Spirit wants to say to the Church.”