By Renee Smith
For Synod 2021–2023, the Archdiocese’s parishioners, commissions, ministries, and clergy alike will play an essential role in the local Church’s listening process. The purpose of the Synodal consultations and conversations for the next two years will be to capture “What is the Holy Spirit saying to our Church today?”. To understand this synodal process, the Archdiocese’s Synod Team led a virtual orientation session on December 4 via Zoom addressing over 200 participants who will be known as ‘Synod Coordinators’. They were able to learn of the tangible and intangible tools required for this journey. The presentation captured the synodal journey as a special time of prayer, listening, dialogue, and recommendations as well as an opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ request “to dream about the Church we are called to be”.
Synod co-chair, Dr Ruby Alleyne noted, “By gathering as a people of faith, we hope to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to build bridges, to enlighten minds, to warm hearts, and to restore strength for our common mission.” The agenda also explained the Synod theme, For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission and how to learn and exercise the art of personal and communal discernment in the synodal process.
One highlight of the orientation session was “listening to the synod logo” with a presentation by Synod Team member, Hanif Benjamin. (The presentation and other resource material will be available soon via CatholicTT social media platforms and website) During the break-out groups for the Synod coordinators, many were able to air their concerns as well as learn from each other how to surrender “the ego” and discover the importance of listening to the Holy Spirit.
At the end of the session, the Synod Team hoped persons were able to:
1. Share the meaning of Synod and synodality, and the purpose of Synod 2021–2023 with others
2. Explain, in general terms, the process which will be followed during the Synod in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain
3. Arrive at a clear understanding of the role of Synod coordinators in the process.
Nationwide, individual and group conversations are expected to take place January–March 2022. During the conversations, Synod Team members will maintain contact with the parishes/commissions/communities for which they are responsible.
For more information on Synod in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain visit catholictt.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org