For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission
All are invited to participate in the upcoming Synod of Bishops through an initial process of listening that begins in the Fall of 2021. This Synod is entitled: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.”
Pope Francis has called the entire People of God to journey together! This includes a process of praying, listening, dialoguing, and discerning together for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The goal of this journeying together is to be present with one another, to listen and learn with each other, and to grow closer to the Lord and His Church.
Archdiocesan Synodal Phase
From December 2021 through June 15, 2022 members of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, are invited to contribute to the central questions of the Synod. A consensus of input from these small group gatherings will to be sent to the AMS electronically through an online form by June 15, 2022. A compilation of insights from throughout the Archdiocese will be forwarded to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
What does Synod mean?
A Synod, which is the process by which the Church will begin this important work is not jus 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 out 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.
The Fundamental Questions
A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together:” How is this “journeying together” happening today in your particular Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?
In order to respond, you are invited to reflect prayerfully on the following:
- Recall our experiences: What experiences in our particular Church does this fundamental question bring to mind?
- Re-read these experiences in greater depth: What joys did they bring? What difficulties and obstacles have they encountered? What wounds did they reveal? What insights have they elicited?
- Gather the fruits to share: Where, in these experiences, does the voice of the Holy Spirit resound? What is the Holy Spirit asking of us? What are the points to be confirmed, the prospects for change, the steps to be taken? Where do we register consensus? What paths are opening up for our local Church?