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Synod for a Synodal Church

Communion, Participation, Mission
Background

On Oct. 10, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica for the solemn opening of the Synod of Bishops, which is taking place in three stages over the next two years (Oct. 2021-April 2023). We are participating along with the other Diocese across the world in this very important undertaking in Church history. 

It is the Holy Father’s prayer is that through this synodal process of gathering together to prayerfully listen, reflect, and share dialogue on our lived experiences as Pilgrim People, the Church will discern “..which processes can help Her to live communion, to achieve participation, to open Herself to mission.” (PD 1) 

The fundamental question our Holy Father is asking us, as People of God, to consider is as follows:

“A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, ‘journeys together.’ How is this ‘journeying together’ happening today in your local Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take to grow in ‘journeying together’?” (PD 27)

What is a Synod?

The question the world is asking is “What is a synod?” The answer, simply put, is the Church journeying together. Quite literally, Synod comes from two words meaning “way” and “together.” The church since her very beginning established the practice of coming together at various levels to make decisions on important matters.

Pope Francis is asking us (laity, religious, deacons, priests, and bishops) to gather as the early church did to describe and discern the movements of the Holy Spirit in the Church today. By gathering together to prayerfully reflect, listen, share, and dialogue, we seek to understand how we are journeying together and discern how we can do it better. 

What are we doing locally?

The Diocese of Memphis will be holding Prayer and Discernment Sessions to support the work of the Synod throughout all of West Tennessee. These sessions are set to begin in February 2022 and will last through March. Check back here for a list of Parishes and other groups who will be hosting sessions.

Where can I learn more?

Check out these links for more information about the Synod for a Synodal Church:

Who can I contact?

Contact Sam Mauck, Diocesan Contact for the Synod for a Synodal Church at synod@cc.cdom.org

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