Synod

Synod 2021-2023

The Church is convoked in Synod. This is a convocation by Pope Francis for the whole Church to evaluate and reflect on the theme of synodality: the heart of the Church’s life and mission.

What is a Synod?

The word ‘Synod’ means assembly and it is an opportunity of encounter, listening and reflection. The Synod is mainly known to be a celebration of ecclesial meetings and episcopal gatherings and the protagonist of the Synod is the Holy Spirit.

What is synodality?

Synodality is:

  • journeying together
  • a learning path for the Church
  • a call for renewal under the action of the Spirit and by listening to the Word
  • the way that the Church, the People of God, lives and operates (modus vivendi et operandi)
  • a sign of a Church that gives substance to her being as communion
  • the Church that gathers and whose members take an active part in her evangelising mission

Consultation with the People of God

The Church of God is convoked in Synod between the years 2021-2023 on the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”. By means of this convocation, Pope Francis invites the entire Church to reflect on a theme that is decisive for its life and mission. Thus, every parish in Malta is called to discern and focus on those aspects of synodality that are most relevant to their reality.

The purpose of the Synod is not to produce documents, but to “plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands” (Pope Francis).

Consultation with the Church in Malta

As Church in Malta, we are called to reflect on the theme of the Synod. Every parish in Malta is called to discern and focus on those aspects of synodality that are most relevant to their reality, to help them to live communion, achieve participation and be open to mission.

This consultation also unites with the journey of renewal that is being carried out by the Church in Malta through the ‘One Church, One Journey’ process where we are reflecting on four themes:

1. A Church that listens

Contemplation – a gaze that brings out the beauty in others

2. A Church that welcomes

Reconciliation – a gaze that seeks the other... to bestow mercy

3. A Church that accompanies

Formation – a gaze that welcomes and encounters the other

4. A Church that goes forth

Mission as proclamation – extending his gaze upon the whole land

Why should we participate?

This is an opportunity to:

Discern

personally and communally

Share

the faith encounters we experience

Imagine and create

a different future for our mission as Church

Contribute

for the benefit of the Universal Church

Discernment

The following are guidelines on how the process of discernment may be carried out to fulfil the aim of the Synod in a concrete and practical way.

The Synod document provides 10 themes for discernment, as follows:

I. JOURNEYING COMPANIONS
In the Church and in society, we are side by side on the same road.

II. LISTENING
Listening is the first step, but it requires having an open mind and heart, without prejudices.

III. SPEAKING OUT
All are invited to speak with courage and parrhesia, that is, integrating freedom, truth, and charity.

IV. CELEBRATING
“Journeying together” is only possible if it is based on communal listening to the Word and the celebration of the Eucharist.

V. CO-RESPONSIBLE IN THE MISSION
Synodality is at the service of the Church’s mission, in which all her members are called to participate.

VI. DIALOGUE IN CHURCH AND SOCIETY
Dialogue is a path of perseverance that also includes silences and sufferings, but which is capable of gathering the experience of persons and peoples.

VII. WITH OTHER CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS
The dialogue between Christians of different confessions, united by one Baptism, has a special place in the synodal journey.

VIII. AUTHORITY AND PARTICIPATION
A synodal Church is a participatory and co-responsible Church.

IX. DISCERNING AND DECIDING
In a synodal style, decisions are made through discernment, based on a consensus that flows from the common obedience to the Spirit.

X. FORMING OURSELVES IN SYNODALITY
The spirituality of journeying together is called to become an educational principle for the formation of the human person and of the Christian, of the families, and of the communities.

  1. Begin the discernment process by spending some time in silent prayer.

  2. Pray the Synod Prayer – Adsumus Sancte Spiritus.

  3. Reflect on these points:

    • A synodal Church, in proclaiming the Gospel, “journeys together”.

    • How is this “journeying together” happening today in our particular Church?

    • What steps is the Spirit inviting us to take in order for us to grow in our “journeying together”?

  4. Conclude with a prayer of thanksgiving to God.

  5. Send your feedback by completing the below form or by sending an email to [email protected]

Participate