Synod 2023 – A worldwide listening process
On the 10th October Pope Francis Launched the first stages of the 2023 Synod: For a Synodal Church ι Communion ι Participation ι Mission. A Synod is a worldwide gathering of Bishops (with other delegates and experts) to discuss and discern how the Church responds to a certain issue. The meaning of Synod of journeying together and those Bishops representing their country are called to bring the thoughts and hopes of the people they represent. The 2023 will not be responding to a particular issue, rather it will be reflecting how the nature or culture of the Church can be more synodal – a wider listening to the Holy Spirit speaking through all peoples.
This process though starting in Rome thoroughly begins in your local parish, school or chaplaincy. Every Catholic community is invited to meet together and listen to one another and the Holy Spirit reflecting on how we can be more focused on being a missionary Church. One that makes Christ present to all peoples in all places. As a diocese we are inviting each Catholic community to reflect on their dream for the Church and how to make that a reality. To not only listen to the leaders in parishes/chaplaincies/schools but to all especially those at the margin of our community.
Below are some documents, resources and guides how this can be lived out throughout our diocese. We aim to have a report together that reflects what have been said by the people of our diocese ready to present to the Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales near the end of January 2022. This document will help form the national report that will go to the European Conference and then on to the world wide meeting in Rome.
This process is not about gathering data for Rome. We aren’t going to ask parishes, schools and chaplaincies to do this great work and then wait nearly two years to hear what is said in Rome. We want to see these communities listen to the Holy Spirit and then be empowered into action. We will invite each parish to make concrete commitments that they will get to work on straight away. It is our hope that Pentecost 2022 can be a wonderful celebration of all the great things that have started to happen in our diocese.
So how do we begin?
As a diocese we are encourage the process to happen at the most local level possible; in our parishes, chaplaincies and schools. We encourage you to contact your parish priest, headteacher or chaplain and speak with him or her about how you can get involved. If you are not connected to a Catholic community in the diocese you will still be able to add your thoughts to the local listening process and by filling in an online survey here: HAVE YOUR SAY. We do encourage you though, if you are able to, to join the times of prayer and conversation in your parish, school or chaplaincy as the joining together as a community is essential to this process.
Have a look at the synod website that has been launched by the Holy See in Rome here. Alternatively you can contact our diocesan coordinators: Fr David Cain (email@example.com) or Joe Hopkins (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Diocesan Documents and Resources