The Synod Process – Jun 5

Appreciating the mission – May 29
December 18, 2014
A new way of being Church – Jul 10
December 18, 2014

The Synod Process – Jun 5

The Synod Process – Jun 5 PDF Print E-mail

From the Synod Implementation Team

The Synod process has revolutionised the Archdiocese of Port of Spain. It is not perfect, nor has it been easy, but it has given us the opportunity for revitalising our Church.

The first sittings of the Synod (2003/ 2005) focussed on the Departments, Synod 2009 on the parishes. Just as it took us from 2003 to 2009 to learn and work with the Departments, it will take a while to learn and become competent in achieving the mandate of Synod 2009.

Implementing Synod 2009 has required a huge shift for parishes. It has meant ministries working in collaboration, the introduction of new structures, pastoral planning and reports on pastoral plans. This change has its own challenge, but all change brings challenge as we go from excited naivety to accomplished achievement.

Synod 2009 proclaimed a Mission of the Church with three Pastoral Priorities. The Mission, to build the Civilisation of Love, is the reason for the Church’s existence. It is what we are called to do and the deeper meaning and logic behind all of our activity.

The three Pastoral Priorities are three interlocking and inseparable aspects of the Mission of the Church. New Evangelisation, Catholic Culture and Identity and Moral and Spiritual Renewal refer back to the threefold mission of Prophet, Priest and King, and as such give focus to these in our unique context. In this sense a Pastoral Priority does not really end. It is the moving of the light from one part of the painting (New Evangelisation) to another part (Catholic Culture and Identity). Because the Pastoral Priorities are integral to the Mission of the Church, they do not really begin or end. They are given more or less prominence.

Looking back at the time that has elapsed since Synod 2009 there is so much for which we have to thank God. There are so many people who have participated in this new energy that has emerged in the Church. There have been events, large and small that have come into being because of the Synod process. These activities are the reason for celebration, reason for hope, reason for gratitude.

We have always had great activities. We have not had coordinated activities around one Pastoral Priority for the whole Church. The evangelisation of the family is the key to the success of the whole Synod initiative.

When the family becomes the domestic Church and nurtures the faith and humanity of all its members so that development of each individual, all individuals and all dimensions of the person become the way Catholic families flourish, then the Church would have made its deepest contribution to the Kingdom, the nation and the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

Catholic families living their mission would transform Church and society.

From December 8, 2009 when the first Pastoral Priority began, we have been thinking about new ways to evangelise the family. Some of these new ways have been acted upon; some will find expression as we move forward.

As a Synod team we invite every parish and every group within the parish to reflect on these three questions:

• What have we learnt about working in collaboration?

• What have we learnt about Pastoral Planning?

• What have we learnt about evangelising the family?

This first phase of Synod Implementation has had all of these elements. What we have learnt is critical if we are going to build upon this first phase and move forward to the second phase with more confidence.

We have had to move from working in isolation as groups and individuals to working in collaboration. This we believe is key to achieving our Mission – BUILDING A CIVILISATION OF LOVE. To work in collaboration we have had to find a coordinated way to keep groups within the parish, the parish as a whole and all of the parishes in the Archdiocese together in one pastoral action. This is the reason for Pastoral Planning. Again this is important for achieving the Mission.

The heart of our work is about evangelising the family. This is the key for transforming the Church and society.

After answering these questions we will like parishes to work on the Evaluation Form that has been distributed. This will guide them through the reflective process and it will allow us to understand where you are, what you have learnt and what support you will need to move forward.

The Synod from 2003 to 2009 was about a new way of being Church. In 2003 we dreamt of a new way of being Church where the whole people of God, animated by a desire for God’s kingdom would unite in finding the best expression of Catholicity in a Caribbean context. That we would unite in facing bravely the challenges we have in this time with bold pastoral initiatives, that would fire the imagination of our people to live the kingdom values; that we would become a sign of unity in a fragmented and divided civilisation.

The real value of Synod Implementation is not only in what we do towards the priority, it is also in what we are becoming as we challenge ourselves to work in collaboration towards our common aspirations.

The Synod Implementation Team would like to encourage each person to reflect deeply on what we have learnt in the Synod process:

• Did we meet or surpass our expectations?

• What were the key ingredients?

• If we did not meet or fell below our expectation, what did we learn, what can we do better?

The Church that we want to become requires us to engage, strengthen and encourage the whole People of God to work together in collaboration. At Baptism we were all anointed with holy Chrism to be Prophets, Priests and Kings.

Let us together find the ways to become what we are – the family of God.

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 July 2011 00:21