Since Vatican II, bishops have gathered every two to three years to reflect on important issues confronting the Church, seeking to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit. In recent times Pope Francis has sought to invite broader consultation.

The Synod of Bishops in 2023 will be the culmination of a two-year synodal process for the entire Church that will shape the bishop’s meeting in Rome in 2023.

This Synod begins with a diocesan listening phase involving all the faithful at local churches in dioceses throughout the world. This listening phase will run through to April 2022.

The goal of this synodal process is to involve as many people as possible in a worldwide process of intentional listening: listening to each other, and listening to the Holy Spirit.

The theme of the upcoming Synod is “For a Synodal Church Communion, Participation and Mission” defines how the synodality of the Church will be achieved.Whenever we enter into dialogue, we allow ourselves to be challenged, to advance on a journey. And in the end, we are no longer the same, we are changed.

“Synod” comes from an ancient Greek word meaning “walking together on the road.”

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What a Synod Is

  • It is a process
  • It is prayerful discernment and listening
  • It is an experience shared with one another
  • It is about seeing the opportunities
  • It is a process grounded in prayer, grounded in liturgy and the Word of God
  • It is a spiritual process led by the Holy Spirit

What a Synod is Not

  • It is not a one-time event
  • It is not a survey of popular opinion
  • It is not just filling out a questionnaire
  • It is about seeing the opportunities
  • It is not about seeing only problems
  • It is not a study group
  • It is not a strategic planning exercise

The Synodal Process is about . . .

  • Listening to each and every one
  • Reaching out and being inclusive and culturally aware
  • Having an open mind to explore possibilities
  • Bringing people together to dream big about the Church
  • Spending time with the futureHearing what the Holy Spirit has to say to all of us

The Synodal process calls us to . . .

  • Listen to the lived experiences of others in a context of prayer
  • Listen with openness, with faith and with courageListen with the ears of the heart
  • Listen to what the Holy Spirit wants to say to the Church
  • Be open to each encounter with courage and a willingness and to allow ourselves to be challenged by the presence and the stories of others
  • Provide an opportunity for everyone to speak freely, to tell their story, to recount their experiences and their spiritual journey
  • Have the confidence to speak and the humility to listen

The Main Questions the Synod will Consider . . .

A Synodal church, in announcing the Gospel, ‘journeys together’. Our Diocese and the Church worldwide are being asked to . . .

  • Embark on a process of profound renewal inspired by the Holy Spirit
  • Respond to the main questions of the Synodal process as it applies to our Church today and the Church we envision for the future
  • How is our ‘walking together’ in synodality realized today in the Church?
  • What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow as we ‘walk together’?
  • Actively reach out and listen to the voices and experiences of people where they are at, especially those who are often excluded or who are not involved in the life of the Church

Synod Prayer

We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.
All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever.
Amen.

Testimonial Videos From Our Family of Parishes

Helpful Links and Resources From the Vatican and Diocese

 

Bishop Fabbro’s Letter To The Faithful

Vatican’s Preparatory Document

Address of the Holy Father Francis

Vatican’s Website For The Synod

Pope Francis “Opening of the Synodal Path”

Bishop Fabbro’s
Homily

Diocese Opening
Mass

Diocese of London
Synod Website

Listening Sessions

In Person Listening Sessions

  • Monday, May 2nd from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at Holy Name of Mary Church on McEwan

Online Zoom Listening Session

  • Thursday, April 28th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

SELF – GUIDED INDIVIDUAL REFLECTION FORM

If you have experiences, joys, concerns, hopes or dreams for the church you want to share and cannot attend a listening session, you can share them here:    www.dol.ca/listening