The official working document for the upcoming Diocese of Parramatta Synod, which will be held from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 October, has been made available for all members of the faithful across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
The working document, titled ‘Becoming a more synodal Church in the Diocese of Parramatta’ is the guide for the over 200 elected Members at the first-ever Synod in the Diocese.
The document is a culmination of the over 1000 submissions made by over 5000 people about the future of the Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
It highlights six key themes for prayer, discussion and reflection and proposed resolutions that the Members will vote on throughout the assembly.
These themes are:
- An inclusive and welcoming Church
- A humble and healing Church
- A listening Church
- A Church renewed in spirit and prayer
- A Church that reaches to the margins
- A Church walking together
The document also includes:
- An overview of synodality
- An overview of our Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains
- An overview of synodality in the Diocese of Parramatta
- The journey to our first Synod
- Observations and reflections from the Synod Writing Group
- A framework for discernment
“The sheer number of stories and experiences where people spoke candidly of their concerns, anxieties, fears as well as their hopes and dreams has been a deep learning and a blessing,” Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, says in the document’s welcome.
“I value each and every person’s input and pray that together, we can find unity in diversity, articulate a common vision and chart a shared pathway forward.”
In his message, Bishop Vincent hopes the Members participate wholly in prayer, listening and discernment guided by the Holy Spirit.
“May the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus sent to be our advocate, guide us on the journey to truth, life and wholeness,” he said.
“May the gifts given to us be unleashed from within and find new expressions for the building up of Christ’s body and transformation of the world.”
We invite all members of our faith community to attend both the opening Mass on Friday evening at 7pm and the closing Mass on Sunday evening at 6pm, both held at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. These Masses will be livestreamed on the St Patrick’s Cathedral YouTube channel.