A WORD FROM THE PASTOR
Pope Francis has called for world Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, which will take place in October 2023. A Synod is an assembly of Bishops convened by Pope for a deeper discussion on important matters pertaining to Church. It is a process of fraternal collaboration and discernment.
At the end of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI formed Synod for a wider consultation to implement the teachings of Vatican II. Since then, Synods had been convened and the present one is 16th which will have the theme: "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission." And it will have two years of preparation.
Normally the Bishops debate on certain issues, as advised by International Theological Commission. But this time, the Pope has asked for answers from all the Baptized to the many challenges facing the Catholic Faith today.
Synodality has been present in Christianity since its very beginning (Acts 15). It is involving all the baptized in discerning God's will and listening to the Holy Spirit. The goal is to find the best ways for every baptized person to fulfill the Church's mission of proclaiming God's love and salvation in Jesus Christ to the world. Hence the Pope calls the Church “Synodal Church”, literally means “Walking together.”
This means - to give expression to the participation of all, according to each one’s calling, with the authority conferred by Christ on the College of Bishops headed by the Pope. Participation is based on the fact that all the faithful are qualified and called to serve each other through the gifts they have all received from the Holy Spirit (Refer-Vatican Council document- Decree on Church’s Missionary Activity).
In this conjunction, our Bishop Deshotel has asked all the pastors to hear the parishioners’ thought on a wide range of topics. (Bishop’s letter was published last week - see below). I have contacted the leaders of our church parish ministries and I will be having great moments in listening to them. The answers from all the parishes collected, would be sent to National Conference of Bishops who in turn will forward them to the Vatican for preparations for the Synod of Bishops.
The theme of the Synod is my favorite theme. As you know my doctoral dissertation is on Participatory Church. I am excited about the forthcoming Synod. Let us pray and do our best so that the Church will become Participatory.