In March 2020, Pope Francis announced that the theme for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023 would be “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”. Pope Francis asks us to dream of a renewed church where all people feel that they have a home and can participate. On Oct. 10, 2021, he formally opened a two-year process for this Synod. In brief, the process involves bishops around the world consulting with everyone from parishioners to monks, nuns and Catholic universities before coming together for a discussion in 2023. The word “synod” comes from an ancient Greek term that means “coming together’ or “travelling together”. Read here for a further understanding of “synod”.
In Australia, the journey of this Synod, coincides with the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, begun in 2019, with assemblies in October last year and in July this year (2022). Thus, the Plenary Council and Synod of Bishops processes will overlap. However, our bishop, Greg Homeming OCD, has invited all Catholics throughout the Lismore Diocese to pray and reflect on and discuss the three themes – Communion, Participation and Mission – specifically in relation to the Lismore Diocese, after which he urges people to submit a 250 word response.
For further reflection:
Upload submissions here (by 27 February). If you would like more information, email [email protected]