Synod 2021 - 2023
St. Joseph’s Parish Dinnington and Blessed William Richardson, Kiveton Park
Pope Francis has launched a worldwide ‘synod’ process. Synod simply means ‘journeying together’. The Holy Father is inviting us to listen deeply to one another and to feel what God is saying to us and the Church about how we ‘journey together’. We will have our own synodal pathway, within our parishes, united with every diocese across the world. Then, after national and continental gatherings, the Synod of Bishops will gather in Rome in 2023 to reflect on what has been heard.
Each of us is being invited to pray first of all, and then listen to each other and contribute our thoughts towards the future of The Church. You are warmly encouraged to please take part – each one of us in this parish has valuable things to say.
Following last month’s Reflection Group meeting, we had our first Synod Group session in the parish on 22nd November. We talked about our experiences of church during the pandemic, how to reach out and be more forward looking, how to meet the challenges of out catholic children attending St. Joseph’s School and how to engage more widely with our local community.
We’re planning more activities in the New Year so that you will have the opportunity to talk about these issues and anything else you want to raise, and you’ll be able to have an opportunity to join discussions face to face or on-line. If you aren’t able to attend, you can still contribute your views by contacting Anne Marie Carroll.
The first activity will be an invitation to respond to a simple questionnaire which will be sent out next week. This will only have a small number of questions on it, but your input in this is essential. All responses will be looked at and used as a basis for discussion at the Parish meetings. It is vital that we hear from a wide range of people, so please share the questions with family and friends who may have drifted away from the church. Equally, if the parish or Zoom meetings do not appeal, consider gathering a group of friends to discuss the questions over a coffee or a glass of wine and send us your thoughts. We look forward to hearing from many of you throughout the consultation period and ask for your prayers for a successful synod.
We want our response from St. Joseph’s to be fully inclusive with invitations to respond from all parish activities including the Caring, Baptism, First sacraments and Confirmation, Liturgy and Reflection Groups.
The goal is to ensure the participation of the greatest number possible, in order to listen to the living voice of the entire People of God and those we journey alongside. This will not be possible unless we make special efforts to actively reach out to people where they’re at, especially those who are often excluded or who are not involved in the life of the Church. There must be a clear focus on the participation of the poor, marginalised, vulnerable, and excluded, in order to listen to their voices and experiences.
‘The purpose of the Synod … is intended to inspire people to dream about the Church we are called to be, to make hopes flourish, to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to warm hearts and restore strength to our hands for our common mission.’ Pope Francis.