The Diocese of Parramatta has released the video of the public forum “What lies ahead on the journey to a synodal church?” held with visiting Undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops, Sr Nathalie Becquart XMCJ, and moderated by Fr Frank Brennan SJ in Parramatta in early February 2023. During the presentation, Sr Nathalie explains the synodal journey the Catholic Church is on, as well as learnings from the previous synods she was closely involved in – the Synod of Youth in 2018 and the Synod of the Amazon in 2019.
Fr Frank introduced Sr Nathalie. “She has now been charged with getting around the world, and creating this understanding and leading us into synodality,” he said.
Sr Nathalie addressed the forum explaining how delighted she was to talk about synodality. “It is about journeying together,” she said.
After explaining the synodal process, she described how those participating in the synodal process during the Synod of Youth felt. “We have experienced that doing this discernment together, this mutual listening, we have felt very strongly that Christ was walking with us, as he was walking with the disciples of Emmaus,” she said.
Following her presentation, Fr Frank asked her a number of questions on a variety of topics including questions around her previous synodal work. She described the impact of involving and discerning with young people has changed the direction of young lives. “Through the synod, we had feedback that many lay people, when they were asked to participate said ‘It is really the first time the Church has asked for my voice’. Doing that, I realised the Church is not only the priest and the bishop, but is all of us.”
She also spoke about the Synod on the Amazon, and the links between synodality and ecological conversion. “In Laudato Si’ we have all the principles for synodality,” she said. “The way to care for our common home is to be a synodal church. It is the way to address this big issue which is a question of life and death.”
Sr Nathalie Becquart XMCJ, was in Australia in late January and early February 2023, undertaking a speaking tour in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. While in the Diocese of Parramatta, she was the guest of Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta.
You can read her articles on the Catholic Outlook Sr Nathalie hub.
The video of the Parramatta Public Forum is also available on The Well.
Other videos available to view of her speaking engagements while in Australia include:
- A Roundtable Discussion with Geraldine Doogue and Australia’s Ambassador to the Vatican Chiara Porro;
- The Helder Camara Lecture “Towards a Sprituality of Synodality” at Newman College in Victoria
- Her public lecture at St Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta including responses by Ambassador Chiara Porro and Caritas Australia CEO Kirsty Roberston