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My transformation – The Synodal Church Mission and Easter

By Noel Nunes

Synod Facilitator,

Cathedral/Sacred Heart Parish

As we reflect on the spiritual journey this Easter season, I feel compelled to share the profound transformation I experienced, a journey deeply intertwined with the Synod’s influence on my faith and daily life.

The period leading up to and following this Easter has been a time of significant spiritual growth, characterised by a deeper engagement in prayer, a more palpable sense of God’s presence, and an enhanced discernment towards the needs of my communal parishioners.

As we approached Easter and after engaging in the Synod 2021–2024 journey, I found myself praying more frequently, establishing moments for both structured and unstructured communion with God.

Imagine for one second: your hands on the steering wheel while driving to work and you’re chatting the whole hour journey with God–talking about the things I had to do that day and seeking His guidance; what I did and how I did things yesterday, offering special prayers for the persons who requested same and how I presented them to God.

This emerged every day! These moments of changes in my prayer were not just more frequent but also more intense, allowing me to feel the Holy Spirit’s guiding presence in a way that I had never experienced before.

This deepened sense of spirituality was not a solitary journey; it was shared with and enriched by the community around me through the Synod events, interactions with my fellow parishioners, the poor/needy and others on the fringes.

It was like I had gotten a new pair of lenses—and I do wear glasses—journeying with an enhanced sense of communal awareness.

In my quiet time though, I tried to decipher what I was going through–always searching for an explanation. I eventually found it!

At our Synod Gathering II, held in the Centre of Excellence, Macoya November 18, 2023, during the first round sharing—the ‘I’ session—I recalled linking the designated scripture reading that triggered my emotions during one of our Lectio Divina sharing with my brothers and sisters present at my table, namely Acts 2:13–14 and linking it back to the Question/Topic to be addressed: ‘Listening in the Spirit: Building Inclusive Communities Through Dialogue’: Some, however, laughed it off. ‘They have been drinking too much new wine,’ they said. Then Peter stood up with the Eleven and addressed them in a loud voice: ‘Men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, make no mistake about this, but listen carefully to what I say.

A classic, spiritual and ‘Trini to d bone’ example of community building in my humble view. Wouldn’t you say?

During the second round—the ‘You’ session—one of my colleagues observed my deep sensitivities and represented it with the word ‘transformation.’ Prior to her reference, I really did not give attention to the fact that I was, and still am, undergoing a spiritual transformation. But indeed, I was and only then acknowledged the change.

My involvement in the Synod 2021– 2024 synthesis for the Cathedral Parish and the Synod Facilitator training exercises, led by Fr Peter McIsaac SJ, provided me with invaluable insights into the lives and faith journeys of the parishioners I met.

These interactions, especially during the period leading up to Easter, were not merely discussions but true Conversations in the Spirit, fostering a communal discernment that resonated deeply within me.

Admittedly, the culmination of these experiences at the Cathedral church during Easter was profound. It was a moment of spiritual zenith where the collective faith and devotion of our community brought us closer to God’s divine grace.

As we continue through Easter, I have found myself enveloped in a calm, spiritual emotion—a deeper trust in God’s ‘hereness with me and others’. His constant presence from dawn to dusk, guiding, comforting, and empowering us. The empty tomb resonates!

Notably, this transformation has not been transient but has profoundly affected my daily life, urging me to live out the Gospel in more intentional and meaningful ways.

The synod’s emphasis on listening, discerning, and walking/journeying together has imbued my spiritual practice with a new direction, emphasising not just my relationship with God but also my connections with others in my parish.

I share this journey in the hope that it might inspire others to seek and find their path of spiritual renewal through the synod’s principles.

As we as a community continue to navigate the complexities of our times, may we remain anchored in our faith, ever mindful of the presence of the Holy Spirit guiding us towards greater love, understanding, and service to one another.

Praise God and thank You, Jesus.

Thanks to Fr McIsaac, Cathedral Administrator Fr Martin Sirju, and Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon.