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SYNODTT – We’re getting ready to listen

Wondering what stage our local Synod is at?

On Saturday, January 15, the Archdiocesan Synod Team met with over 200 Synod coordinators of parishes, commissions, and ecclesial ministries to continue providing them with a full understanding of the synodal process at all levels (local, regional, universal) culminating in the Synod of Bishops in October 2023.

An integral part of this process is listening to the many voices who have contributions to make.

Synod team member, Hanif Benjamin, during his presentation on ‘The Role of Listening in the Synodal Process’, reminded that throughout the process “we must be attentive to how the Spirit of God speaks through the People of God”.

He said, “Listening to the entire People of God will help the Church to make pastoral decisions that correspond as closely as possible to God’s will.”

He continued, “To whom do we listen? We listen to God’s Word in Holy Scripture. We listen to each other as we share our experiences. We listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.”


At the session, coordinators also learnt skills to plan, organise and facilitate synodal consultations. The Synodal consultations can include:

  • Online meetings
  • Formal and informal interactions
  • Questionnaire (but dialogue is preferred)
  • Creative and artistic expression
  • Two or more parishes may choose to come together to plan a series of joint synodal consultations
  • Ministries across parishes can come together

Co-chair of the Synod Team, Dr Ruby Alleyne reminded participants “holding synodal consultations that bring together multiple parishes can be a good way of gathering a range of people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities and age groups”.

Participants were also briefed on preparing a report on the synodal consultations with the goal being not to produce a summary of everything that was said during the consultations, rather, a synthesis. It is an act of discernment in choosing and writing what will contribute to the next stage of the synodal process.

Participants were also engaged in an interactive synodal consultation for skill development and practice.

To participate in the synodal process which parishes will begin in the weeks ahead, laity are asked to pay attention to the communication from their parish coordinators, clergy, and the Archdiocese.

Key timelines

October 10, 2021 – Opening Celebration for Synod 2021–2023 (Rome)

October 2021 – April 2023 – Synodal consultations in every diocese

April 2022 – End of the diocesan phase. There will be a report on the fundamental questions (10-page report to be submitted to Archbishop Jason Gordon).

At the level of the Episcopal Conferences (EC), the diocesan reports will be synthesised to produce an EC report.

Diocesan Co-Chairs: Dr Ruby Alleyne & Gregory McGuire

Team members: Fr Urban Hudlin OP; Renee Smith; Margaret Richardson; Hanif Benjamin; Ronald Tagallie; Dennis Hamid; Nigel Phillip

Secretariat: Sharon Delochan (Secretary); Candice Clarke-Salloum; Sandra Maitland (Coordinators)

For more information on synod in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain visit catholictt.org or email synod@catholictt.org