Synod 2021-2023: For a Synodal Church
SYNOD LISTENING SESSIONS
We have scheduled 6 gatherings or listening sessions - each 2.5 - 3 hours.
- DONE - Saturday, 26 March @ 9h00 - 12h00
- DONE - Thursday, 28 April @ 18h30 - 21h30
- DONE - Thursday, 5 May @ 14h00 - 17h00
- DONE - Wednesday, 11 May @ 18h30 - 21h30 (on ZOOM)
- DONE - Sunday, 22 May @ 10h00 - 12h00 (Teens/Parents)
- Saturday, 28 May @ 09h00 - 12h00
Each Listening Session is 2.5 – 3 hours.
Everyone is invited to participate in ONE session. You only need attend one listening session
MANY WAYS TO BOOK OR REGISTER
- Book online by clicking here
- Call or email the Parish Office
- Sign up on the forms at the back of the Church.
NEED ANY KIND OF HELP?
If you need help or transport, please just let us know and we will gladly arrange it. Please call or email the Parish Office.
The Pope has invited all the People of God to participate in this Synod. He wants to hear the voice of EVERYONE. He most especially wants to hear the voice of those who are often not heard. Please reach out to others and invite your friends and family to participate. For some it may be painful and hard. Please come and share courageously, confidentially, prophetically and unapologetically.
THE SYNOD LAUNCHES
IN ARCHDIOCESE OF CAPE TOWN (26/27 Feb)
SYNOD 2021-2023: FOR A SYNODAL CHURCH was launched in all parishes in the Archdiocese of Cape Town over the weekend of 26/27 February. In our parish we gave a short presentation at both Masses to launch and introduce the Synod and distributed an Information Booklet with further information for people to take home.
You can view the Launch presentation on our YouTube Channel BY CLICKING HERE.
Because there is a lot of information we have created an Information Booklet that can be read and studied in your own time. Everyone is encouraged to take some time to read more, and importantly, to pray about the Synod. The more everyone understands, and the more we pray, the better and more fruitful the process will be.
You can download the Booklet by clicking on the below link.
You can also pick up your hard copy of this Booklet from the back of the Church or the Parish Office.
Process: While there is a lot of information, you will find that the most important things to know are that a synodal process is unlike anything we experience in the secular world. It is not a referendum, an opinion survey, nor is it parliamentary democratic process based on majority rule - it is democratic in the sense that everyone's voice is important. In contrast, It is a deep and prayerful process done in unity with one another and seeking truth and holiness. We want to be the church that Jesus intended.
Fundamental Question: The other important aspect is the fundamental question that everyone is asked to consider. It's scope is broad and we need to think and pray about what it is asking us. When you come to your Listening Session be prepared with your input. You can download the Listening Session Preparation Document here by CLICKING HERE.
A SERIOUS INVITATION
This synod is historic. Let us not underestimate its importance and the unique and solemn opportunity it provides us.
The Pope is inviting everyone to take this journey together. He did not have to do this.
We have a chance to participate in a renewal of the Church in this huge and ambitious undertaking.
It is our time – let us embrace the invitation that is before us.
This Synod is entitled – SYNOD 2021 – 2023: FOR A SYNODAL CHURCH
Pope Francis has invited all the People of God to journey together to become a more synodal Church.
A synodal process is the process of journeying together. It is a process of gathering together and listening. After listening and talking with one another, we pray in order to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit. The goal of this journeying together is to grow together in holiness, and to grow closer to the Lord.
This synod is a holy and prayerful process. As the People of God, through our baptism, we share in Christ’s prophetic office and therefore all our voices are important and should be heard.
We are therefore launching on a synodal process in order to become a more synodal church. What does this mean?
AN ANCIENT PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH
Throughout the long history of our Church, there has been a process of gathering together, listening, discussing and discerning the Holy Spirit to make decisions.
Synodality involves clergy, religious and laity. Following this, the People of God present their hopes and concerns to the bishops, who, united with the Pope, and guided by the Holy Spirit, discern matters of faith and morality in order to grow the faith and strengthen the Church throughout the world. This process is about journeying in communion with each other in the context of our faith.
What is new and different about this Synod is that the entire People of God are being asked to join the synodal process of listening and consulting.
COMMUNION, PARTICIPATION, MISSION
These are 3 indispensable keys at the heart of the Synodal Church.
COMMUNION means we journey together in unity of a shared life.
PARTICIPATION means that we all are invited to take part and to bring our various talents, gifts and charisms to the process. It is important that everyone is part of this process.
And finally, in communion and with participation we accomplish the MISSION of the Church – which is to evangelise and proclaim the Gospel of the Word to all.
We are using a synodal process
to become a synodal church.
THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION
The Pope is inviting all the People of God to come together. The fundamental question for the consultation of the People of God is in the diagram above.
This is the question we are asked to think about, to discern and pray about. We are asked to share our sincere replies to this question in the LISTENING SESSIONS. There too we listen to others, pray together and discern the voice of the Holy Spirit.
10 THEMES > 5 DIMENSIONS
In contemplating the Fundamental Question we are prompted to think about and discern 10 broad themes which provide a broader context for our thinking and discernment.
You can find the 10 themes on pages 7 and 8 of the Information Booklet.
Fr Gerard Walmsley has distrilled these 10 themes into 5 dimension of the life and mission of the Church. You can read these 5 dimensions on page 9 of the information booklet. CLICK HERE to watch the video of Fr Gerard’s keynote address at the Cape Town diocese faciltator training on 12 Feb where he discusses the synod and presents the 5 dimensions.
HOW IT WORKS
As its name suggests - it is a 2 year process. It is not a project with a finite ending. Instead this synod is the start of an ongoing process – the start of a new way of being.
PHASE 1 - LOCAL LEVEL
The first phase is at the Diocesan level where every diocese in the world has established the best way to reach out to all the People of God at local parish level.
HOW IT WILL WORK IN
OUR LADY OF THE VISITATION, CONSTANTIA
In our parish we will be holding several gatherings which will take the form of LISTENING SESSIONS that will focus on the FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION.
HOW A LISTENING SESSION WORKS
Each LISTENING SESSION is broken down into smaller groups or LISTENING CIRCLES of 5-8 people with facilitator and scribe, and follows a process that consists of 4 rounds.
Round 1: LISTENING. Everyone is given 5 minutes to share their responses to the fundamental question. In all the rounds prayer and reflection is very important.
Round 2: Everyone is invited to share WHAT STRUCK THEM in round 1, what touched them.
Round 3: CONVERSATION WITH THE LORD. Everyone reflects on what points resonated in the group and moved people most deeply. We listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide and move us.
Round 4: REVIEW & REPORT. The participants in the group review their conclusions, their experience of the process and then decide on the feedback they wish to communicate in the group’s report.
All the feedback from this parish will be synthesized into one parish report that will be given to the Archdiocese on 15 June.
From there the feedback will be progressively synthesized from parish level to the Bishops Conference, to the General Secretariat and finally to Rome in June 2023 where the final document will be produced.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Parish Office CALL 021 794 5185 or
Fr Robert: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dcn Mike Brooks: email@example.com
Karen Parkin: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are a lot of resources that you can use to learn more.
IN OUR PARISH
Find out more:
- Information Booklet (10 Mb)
- Video - Launch of Synod in our Parish on 26/27 February (9:55 minutes)
- See Archdiocese Resources for more videos
To sign up:
ARCHDIOCESE OF CAPE TOWN
- Video - Archbishop Stephen Brislin - Overview of the Synod (5:57 minutes)
- Video - Short Animation Overview of the Synod (6:24 minutes)
- Video - Fr Gerald Walmsley KEYNOTE TALK at the Archdiocese Training on 12 Feb (19:23 minutes)
- Archdiocese of Cape Town website - Synod page.
God said to St Francis "Rebuild my church which is everywhere in ruins.” This synodal process is a serious invitation to continue that Mission. It is an opportunity to give a voice to everyone including those at the margins, so that, as the People of God, we can act in unity and love for our church to change, reform and grow, and become the Church Christ wants us to be.
Adsumus, Sancte Spiritus
Prayer of invocation to the Holy Spirit
for an ecclesial assembly of governance or discernment (thus synodal)
Every session of the Second Vatican Council began with the prayer Adsumus Sancte Spiritus, the first word of the Latin original meaning, “We stand before You, Holy Spirit,” which has been historically used at Councils, Synods and other Church gatherings for hundreds of years, being attributed to Saint Isidore of Seville (c. 560 - 4 April 636). As we are called to embrace this synodal path of the Synod 2021-2023, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to operate within us so that we may be a community and a people of grace. For the Synod 2021-2023, we use this simplified version.
We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right. All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever.