Over late 2021 and early 2022, people from across the Diocese of Parramatta responded to Pope Francis’s call to participate in the Synod of Bishops 2023 by providing reflections on their experience of how our Church ‘listens to, and journey’s with’ the people of God.
The Diocese received engagement from more than 750 people via individual and group submissions from a wide cross-section of communities and over the past few weeks a writing committee has developed a synthesis of submissions received.
The writers of the document determined seven themes relating to how the Diocese of Parramatta is journeying towards synodality:
- The synodality that is already being experienced in the Diocese of Parramatta gives us hope for the Church’s future mission.
- Parishes, diocesan agencies and ministries who practise greater synodality experience a journey of transformation and cultural change.
- Leadership that fosters synodality and is accountable and transparent encourages imaginative initiatives and a greater involvement by a wider group of the faithful, with all their gifts, in the mission of the Church.
- Those who experience education and formation underpinned by sound theology and scripture, are nurtured in an adult faith while they exercise their mission arising from their Baptism.
- Our shared sense of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus is strengthened and enriched when the diversity and difference, which are the hallmarks of our region, are celebrated within our church life and worship, and when the women, men and children of the Diocese experience that inclusive sense of belonging that they long for.
- Creative, inclusive and welcoming liturgy that reflects the community’s diversity strengthens the communion of the faithful in their mission.
- Partnership and collaboration within the Diocesan church, between local church communities, and with the wider society energises and unites diverse people to work for the common good in a shared mission of good news for our world and creation.
These themes and the final draft of the document will go to the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference for inclusion in the Australian submission within weeks but for now, it is available for all to view and provide feedback.
The Exhibition Night, as Pope Francis has named it, will take place this Thursday 21 April at 7pm, and all interested members of the Diocese of Parramatta are invited to attend via Zoom and learn more about the document from the Writing Committee.
The document will be finalised after the feedback from this session is received and considered, and will be presented to Bishop Vincent at a celebratory liturgy at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Seven Hills, on Sunday 1 May.
“This Thursday night gives us the chance to put our words into action. We wouldn’t be a synodal church unless we offered the people of the Diocese of Parramatta the chance to reflect on the synthesis, share their thoughts and find their voice in this important living document,” said James Camden who is Head, Mission Engagement and Co-Chair of the Committee for the Consultation on the Synod of Bishops.
For details on how to attend the Zoom event email email@example.com for your personal link.
You can find the synthesis of submissions from the Diocese of Parramatta and a link for you to respond here.