Pope Francis has given us an extraordinary opportunity to participate in a worldwide synod.
Holy Family had several listening sessions, both in person and on zoom. We had over 100 participants share their thoughts on our Church, how we have experienced it and how we might move forward.
The Synod on Synodality asked us to summarize our report in the six main topic both positive and dissent and then by weight of response.
The six topic areas are:
- Listening and Speaking
- Discerning and Deciding
- Going on Mission
- Growing in Synodality
In addition to these sessions, we had two surveys on line. This tool was employed to gather more information from people who may have been too busy to attend a two-hour session, and for people so alienated they have left the Church.
Below is the summary of what we sent to the Archdiocese on April 22, 2022.
Holy Family would like to give a huge thank you to the many people who helped to make the sessions go well namely, our hospitality team, our note takers and facilitators !
Thank you to Jane Argento, Chris and Katie Bengford, Sally Cunningham, Sue Hodge, Joe Manahan, Mary Elizabeth Ohde, Dawn Ponnet, Margaret Prietto, Henry Provencio, and everyone who participated.
To see all of the Holy Family Results
THE SYNOD OF SYNODALITY
WHAT IS A SYNOD?
“In the first millennium, ‘journeying together’—that is, practicing synodality— was the ordinary way in which the Church, understood as ‘People united in the unity of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,’ acted” (Preparatory Document, 11). When there was disagreement and division in the early Church, bishops gathered to listen and discern the path forward. These were the first synods which developed at all levels of the Church—local, regional, and universal. St. John Chrysostom said that “Church and Synod are synonymous.” (Preparatory Document, 11). Synodality has thus marked the Church from her very beginning and has been expressed in various ways, as the style of the Church’s life and mission, as particular structures and processes, or through decisive events. In the West, “synod” and “council” became synonymous, and Ecumenical Councils are the most authoritative expressions of formal synodal gatherings, always in communion with and under the authority of the Pope. In 1965, Pope St. Paul VI established the Synod of Bishops as a permanent institution of the Catholic Church, setting the stage for the renewed understanding of synodality being emphasized and explored today.
What is SYNODALITY
- syn = “together” hodos = “road”
- synod = “on the road together”
- Synodality is a style or mode of being Church, in which we journey together, both clergy and laity, each according to our roles and spiritual gifts.
- The intention of this process is “to inspire people to dream about the Church we are called to be, to make hopes flourish, to stimulate trust, to bind up wounds, to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to build bridges, to enlighten minds, warm hearts and restore strength to our hands for our common mission.”
FOR A SYNODAL CHURCH: COMMUNION, PARTICIPATION, AND MISSION.
The Synod has three key words: communion, participation, and mission. Communion expresses the very nature of the Church, while pointing out that the Church has received the mission of proclaiming and preparing the way among all the peoples for the coming of the kingdom of God, and is, on earth, the seed and beginning of that kingdom (Lumen Gentium, 5). Participation follows on the faith received in Baptism (1Cor. 12:13). In the Church, everything starts with Baptism. Baptism, the source of our new life in Christ, gives rise to the equal dignity of the children of God, albeit in the diversity of ministries and charisms. Consequently, all the Baptized are called to take part in the Church’s life and mission. (Oct. 9, Opening Address) Archbishop Gomez has invited the parishes to offer listening sessions. At Holy Family we would like you to join in the conversation. In his homily to begin the Synod on October 10, 2021, Pope Francis declared that: “The Synod is a process of spiritual discernment, of ecclesial discernment, that unfolds in adoration, in prayer and in dialogue with the Word of God.” The Holy Father concluded his homily with this exhortation: “Dear brothers and sisters, let us have a good journey together! May we be pilgrims in love with the Gospel and open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. Let us not miss out on the grace-filled opportunities born of encounter, listening, and discernment. In the joyful conviction that, even as we seek the Lord, he always comes with his love to meet us first.” (October 10, 2021)
Every session of the Second Vatican Council began with the prayer Adsumus Sancte Spiritus. The first word of the original Latin meaning: We stand before You, Holy Spirit, which has been historically used at councils, synods, and other Church gatherings for hundreds of years, and is attributed to Saint Isidore of Seville (c.560-4 April 636). “This prayer invites the Holy Spirit to be at work in us so that we may be a community and a people of grace.”
Please pray for the Synod from 2021 – 2023!
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. Amen.