Our Holy Father Pope Francis has invited the Catholic Church to embark on a journey together. Through listening and discernment rooted in the Holy Spirit, the entire people of God are called to contribute to a process by which the Church deepens in understanding of Her mission and looks toward the future.
A Synod, which is the process by which the Church will begin this important work is not just a convening of Bishops reflecting on a particular topic and advising the Pope. A Synod is a journey of discernment, in which the people of God are called to pray and reflect upon the Holy Spirit’s will for the Church. Through our listening and our sharing, we will seek to understand what the Holy Spirit’s will is for the topic being discussed and thus, for the Church.
For the 2023 Ordinary Synod of Bishops, that topic is synodality. Simply put, synodality is discerning how the Spirit is moving through and with the Body of Christ, so that we may continue to fulfill our mission to evangelize in the world.
In October 2021, the synodal process began by involving dioceses around the world in a phase of listening that “will integrate the Synodal Process into the life of the local Church in creative ways that promote and deepen communion, fuller participation, and a more fruitful mission.”
In the Archdiocese of Armagh, the Synod parish consultation is underway and continues until the 28th February, 2022 which means that all members of Dunleer Parish are invited to participate up to this date. Ideally this would involve face to face meetings with parishioners but considering the challenges in this COVID-19 pandemic our synodal pathway will utilise the Parish media channels to facilitate affording everyone a voice in this process.
The FOUR questions being asked are as follows:
- What memory or experience of the Catholic Church do you value or cherish most in your life?
- How can our Church be a welcoming and inclusive community?
- How can we be listened to more effectively and encouraged to participate in decision-making processes in the Church?
- What inspires you in the life of your parish community to bring the love of Christ into the world? What discourages you?
Everyone is encouraged to engage with this process.
All answers will go to the Diocesan Synodal Core Group. The overall findings from all Parishes will be discussed at a meeting in April 2022 with representatives from each parish and religious order in the diocese and the bishops. A ten-page report will then be submitted to the Irish Bishop’s Conference to form part of the national submission to Rome. This report will be available to read on the diocesan website after Easter 2022.
For more information click on the following link: