What is happening with the Synod of Bishops?

18 February 2022


Progress so far on our journey of Synod 2021-2023

The Synod: What is it for?

The Bishops of the world will gather in 2023 to consider the question:

A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together:” How is this “journeying together” happening today in your particular Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?

The overall aim is for a habit of listening and discerning and journeying together to grow in each diocese. We are invited to contribute to the Synod itself by considering the question at Diocesan, parish and personal levels: gathering together for conversations with the Holy Spirit, sharing our stories and finding a way forward together. Making our responses known will ensure our ideas are raised.

Who is involved?

Bishop Vincent appointed a committee to promote this consultation, with co-Chairs Sr Grace Roclawska and Mr James Camden. Other members are Wendy Goonan, Leo Tucker, Padmi Pathinather, and Fr Shinto Francis. Carol Teodori-Blahut, and Fr Chris del Rosario have also served on the Committee. Fr Joseph Lam is our Theological Consultant and gives valuable guidance on the Synod, what synodality means, and the way our Diocese can contribute. A Drafting Subcommittee has also been appointed, with Mrs Anne Benjamin, Mr David Bourne and Ms Anastasia Boulus joining Mrs Goonan for the task of bringing responses from people in Parramatta into a coherent document to be presented to the Australian Bishops in May.

What has the committee done?

Three online workshops, produced and facilitated by MET and featuring Fr Peter Blayney, Bishop Vincent, Francis O’Callaghan and Scott Carroll were presented via Zoom in November. Attended by around a hundred people, these workshops shared the meaning of the Synod and synodality, the experiences in families and schools of what it means to journey together, and the Parramatta Way of synodality.  Six videos of these workshops are available online via The Well.

Feedback at the workshops indicated a good understanding of synodality, and enthusiasm for further exploration.

Our webpage holds resources, links, and social media tiles that can be shared far and wide by parishes, groups and individuals. Short notes about the Synod and synodality have also been produced for parish bulletins. The Diocese social media accounts regularly share local and international news about the Synod.

Parishioners may have seen a greeting card, distributed to all parishes before Christmas, encouraging everyone to participate and including a QR Code linked to the website. Submissions from people in the Diocese of Parramatta currently outnumber those from other dioceses.

Who is engaging with Spiritual Conversations?

All are invited to participate! While the Synod question is very similar to the Plenary Council question, committee members have endeavoured to engage with groups who may not have been well represented in submissions to Plenary Council. These include Catholic Care Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, the St Vincent de Paul Society, and Faith in Action teachers and student leaders in our Catholic Schools. Conversations are planned for several Migrant Chaplaincies, for LGBT+ Catholics, and for members of RCIA teams and people received into the Church as adults, as well as men and women living a Consecrated Life. The Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations is also holding a conversation that will be focused on Inter-Religious Dialogue. The parishes of the Blue Mountains have already sent in a submission resulting from a conversation held recently.

If you would more information about any of these conversations, or need help to organise another, contact the Committee via MET@parracatholic.org . Send your response to us via the ACBC website or via email to MET@parracatholic.org before the end of February if possible.


Check out the Synod online, in social media or your parish bulletin and strike up a conversation! 


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