There are several different ways the Church, since its earliest times, has sought the guidance of the Lord through the Holy Spirit. At the national level, one is a Plenary Council – one of which is being held in Australia in 2020 (read more about the Plenary Council and keep in touch with developments).
At a diocesan level, one way the Lord’s guidance is sought is a diocesan synod (‘synod’ deriving from the Greek word for ‘meeting’ or ‘assembly’). A diocesan synod process, as set out in the law of the Church, requires a preparation stage, and its process is based upon the promise of Jesus
… where two or three gather in my name, I am there among them.
A synod allows everyone in a diocese – priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful – to participate in discerning the Lord’s guidance.
Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, all involved in a diocesan synod process walk together with the Lord – priests, people and bishop. Pope Francis has proposed that dioceses hold synods regularly.
A Bunbury diocesan synod in 2019
Bishop Gerard has announced that there will be a diocesan synod for the Bunbury Diocese in March 2019, with the preparation stage being held in the second half of 2018. He asks every priest, deacon, religious and lay person in our Diocese who feels moved by the Spirit of Christ to participate. The more who do so the clearer will be the Lord’s guidance for us all.
Various lay people were asked by the Bishop to announce the synod during the first part of 2018.
Regional meetings will be held shortly across the Diocese – check your parish newsletter and this website for updates on these and further details on the process.
The Synod Commissioners are:
Synod Commissioners – no photos:
- Mr John Borserio
- Mrs Maureen Tully
- Mrs Rebecca Ward
- Mr Aaron Faure
- Fr Nicandro Lim
Lord Jesus: you promised to be with your Church always. You guide it through the Spirit in our hearts.
Help us to discern the direction you wish us to follow as a Diocese.
Help us to discern the Holy Spirit’s stirrings in our hearts as we reflect on what we believe you are asking of us as a Church at this time.
We ask this of you as our Lord and Saviour.
I am most grateful to all who participated in the first two consultations for our 2019 Diocesan Synod. The response has been well beyond expectations.
Many obviously took considerable time to consider what they wanted to say. I am grateful to everyone who took the trouble to send the Synod Commission their ideas and suggestions.
The responses will now be broken into topics. Parish Pastoral Councils will then be asked to prioritise these and the result will provide the basis for deciding on the actual 2019 Synod theme.
The next steps
The next two steps in a few weeks will be the announcement of the Synod theme and the nomination of Parish delegates to the Synod.
Diocesan synods are gatherings with the Bishop. Their purpose is to discern with him the direction the Lord wants a Diocese to follow. Topics discussed relate to areas of the Bishop’s authority.
As explained earlier, all consultation responses will be forwarded to the Plenary Council planning group once Diocesan topics have been drawn out.
While the current Diocesan consultation has finished, parishioners can continue to suggest issues for the Plenary Council. Details about how to do so can be found at www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au.
God bless you all
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