The entire Catholic Church is called to
participate in the upcoming Synod of Bishops!
This Synod is entitled:
“For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.”
Pope Francis has a special invitation for you! An invitation to walk forward together with all the people of God. Pope Francis wants you to join him in the synodal process. Blessed Sacrament will be holding listening sessions between February and March 2022. Everyone is invited to participate: weekly church goers, yearly church goers, non church goers, used to go to church goers, EVERYONE!
What is a synod?
A synod is simply an assembly of the faithful of the Church. In the past the synods have been on varying topics and the consultation is usually with the bishops or other members of the Church. The theme of Synod 2021-2023 is For a synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission. The goal of this synod is to gather the faithful together at every level of the Church and listen. Through listening, the diverse members of the Church will be able to learn from one another’s experiences and perspectives. Conversation and listening are all done in prayer and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The synodal process is a spiritual process. Pope Francis is not inviting us to participate in another survey! Instead, Pope Francis is inviting us to share our stories, to have conversations, to learn about one another, to listen—without judgement, without prejudice, without agendas, with open minds and hearts.
From our conversations with one another, Pope Francis hopes that we will discern the Church that the Holy Spirit wants us to be with “deeper communion, fuller participation, and greater openness to fulfilling our mission in the world” (Vademecum, 1.2). The synod serves the dialogue of God with humanity as we journey together toward the kingdom of God. We are all on the journey together!
Who is invited to participate?
Everyone! Catholics, non-Catholics, former Catholics, haven’t been to Mass lately Catholics—everyone is invited. In fact, we want as many people to participate as possible because Pope Francis wants to hear from the whole Body of Christ.
Pope Francis is asking us to discern the will of the Holy Spirit for the Church. But what is discernment? It is discovering God’s desire, God’s will. It is through prayer that we are able to discern God’s will for us, or to put it another way, to discern who God wants us to be. This goes for individuals and for the Church. However, discernment is not just about getting answers. Discernment is about getting to know God and fostering that relationship.
As we begin the planning for our parish’s participation, we invite you to begin the first step of the synodal process: prayer.
Pray for the whole Church, that each member no matter how young or old, involved or disconnected, marginalized or integrated, faithful or doubting answers the call of the Holy Spirit to share their stories and participate in the synod.
Pray for Pope Francis, Bishop Gruss and all the bishops, for Fr. Rob and all clergy, for all those who work and volunteer at the various levels of the Church to listen to inspired stories of the faithful with open hearts and minds and to discern the Church that God wants us to be.
Pray for yourself as you embark on this synodal journey to be open to the Holy Spirit and recognize that your story, your experience is an integral part of God’s story.
We pray that everyone recognize we do this not as individuals, but as a community of faith, both local and global, in communion with God and those who have gone before us. We pray that everyone answers the call to participate in the life of the Church and to share our experiences, and listen to the experiences of others. We pray that everyone accepts the mission that we have been given: to share the love and peace of God with everyone.