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Synod Continuing on the Journey

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Continuing on the Journey

"The world in which we live, and which we are called to love and serve, even with its contradictions, demands that the Church strengthen cooperation in all areas of her mission. It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium." (Pope Francis, Address Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Synod of Bishops, 2015)

The aim of the Synod on Synodality was not to provide a temporary or one-time experience, but rather to provide an opportunity for the entire People of God to discern together how to move forward on the path towards being a more synodal Church in the long-term. A basic question guided us: How does this journeying together allow the Church to proclaim the Gospel in accordance with the mission entrusted to Her; and what steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow as a synodal Church? 

Participants in the diocesan synodal listening sessions felt uplifted by each other’s stories and highly recommended that we continue the conversations begun with this synodal process. Ten key themes were identified in the diocese, all with additional points of specific areas for renewal. The ten themes are: Lifelong Faith Formation, Mission and Outreach, Community and Fellowship, Participation in the Liturgy, Listening, Inclusion, Experiences of Prayer, Authority and Governance, Teamwork and Co-responsibility, and Vocations. In an effort to continue to walk together, we invited ten pastoral leaders to write a reflection on each of these themes. It is our hope that parish staff and pastoral council members along with other key leaders, will use these reflections to continue on the journey together and discern next steps for their parish communities.

Download Spiritual Conversations Process (PDF)


Step 1. Personal Preparation  

By entrusting oneself to the Father, conversing in prayer with the Lord Jesus and listening to the Holy Spirit, each one prepares his or her own contribution to the reflection topic. Read the reflection in advance on your own or together in a small group. How are you feeling after reading the reflection? What are you thinking? What do you desire?


Step 2. Taking the Word and Listening

In small groups of 6-8 people, each person takes turns speaking from his or her own experience and prayer. When others are speaking, remember to listen with an open and humble heart.



Step 3. Making Space for Others and the Other 

From what the others have said, each one shares what has resonated most with him or her or what has aroused the most resistance in him or her, allowing himself or herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit: "What am I hearing the Holy Spirit saying to us?" This time when sharing, do not add anything new to the conversation - just your response to what you have heard already shared.


Step 4. Building Together  

Together we dialogue on the basis of what emerged earlier in order to discern and gather the fruit of the conversation in the Spirit: to recognize intuitions and convergences; to identify discordances, obstacles and new questions; to allow prophetic voices to emerge. It is important that everyone can feel represented by the outcome of the work. "To what steps is the Holy Spirit calling us together?"

Once everyone has shared their ideas for action, identify 2-3 emerging actions which could be taken.



Eucharistic Revival Listening Sessions

The listening sessions held in the diocese for the most recent Synod proved very fruitful for our communities. We have written listening sessions for the Eucharistic Revival, following the four main themes highlighted in the diocesan logo: Gathered, Blessed, Broken and Shared. We hope this resource will help faith communities continue to reflect on what it means to journey together as a Eucharistic people.


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