Synod 2023 A worldwide listening process
On 10th October Pope Francis Launched the first stages of the 2023 Synod: For a Synodal Church ι Communion ι Participation ι Mission. A Synod is a worldwide gathering of Bishops (with other delegates and experts) to discuss and discern how the Church responds to a certain issue. The meaning of Synod of journeying together and those Bishops representing their country are called to bring the thoughts and hopes of the people they represent. The 2023 will not be responding to a particular issue, rather it will be reflecting how the nature or culture of the Church can be more synodal – a wider listening to the Holy Spirit speaking through all peoples.
This process though starting in Rome thoroughly begins in your local parish, school or chaplaincy. Every Catholic community is invited to meet together and listen to one another and the Holy Spirit reflecting on how we can be more focused on being a missionary Church. One that makes Christ present to all peoples in all places. As a diocese (writes Bishop Patrick) we are inviting each Catholic community to reflect on their dream for the Church and how to make that a reality. To not only listen to the leaders in parishes/chaplaincies/schools but to all especially those at the margin of our community.
The first parish questionnaire was given out on the weekend of 30th/31st October. This questionnaire invited us to prayerfully think about the first two of six questions. People were invited to take part by completing the printed questionnaire, or at an open meeting in St Mary’s Hall at 6.30pm on Wednesday 3rd November; another option was to answer the questions online by following this link. The responses that people submitted at that meeting, some individual, and some after discussion in small groups, appear below. Click or tap a picture to enlarge it.
And here, below, are the responses that people submitted online.