“Synod” simply means “journeying together”.
Pope Francis, following on from his invitation in 2013 for us to become “missionary disciples”, has called a Universal Synod which is taking place in every Catholic diocese across the world. The Synod is themed: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission”. This two-year journey’s (2021-23) goal is for all members of the church to be heard.
What does this mean for our diocese?
In our diocese, we will launch the Synod on Sunday 28th November 2021 (First Sunday of Advent). We will then have until Tuesday 1st March 2022 to submit our response. Eventually, after diocesan, national and continental gatherings, the Synod of Bishops will gather in Rome in 2023 to reflect on what has been heard.
The Holy Father is inviting us to listen deeply to one another; to discern what God is saying to the Church, and to enter into a dialogue about how we can journey together into the future. He has also asked us to think about how we can invite those on the margins and those searching for faith to walk with us in communion.
Listen to Bishop John’s invitation for us to join the Synod here.
You can listen to Bishop John explaining the synodal process here.
Download his Pastoral Letter addressing the Synod as a pdf here.
How Can I Take Part?
We want to hear how you think we can best live out Pope Francis’s vision of a participatory, responsible, evangelising church.
You can participate in the first stage of the Synod collectively or individually by providing your feedback to us. We encourage you to pray and discern about the following:
A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.” How is this “journeying together” happening today in your local Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”? (PD, 26).
Pope Francis has provided us with a set of Reflection Questions to address, both personally and in group meetings. These can be found here.
If you’d like to fill out a simplified version of the consultation aimed towards school-aged people, please complete this form.
The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 1st March 2022. Your contribution is invaluable and will make a considerable difference to the future of the church in our diocese and across the world.
For more information, see the drop-down options below or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about the synod by downloading these documents:
Synod Resources and Newsletter Insert (Word document)
Download resources for youth and schools:
Watch Fr Eamonn Mulcahy explain Pope Francis’s vision for a Synodal Church:
Download the poster for your parish noticeboard:
For more guidance on how to approach the Synod as a parish group:
Download the PDF version of the Parish Group Feedback Document:
Download the pdf version of the Individual Paper Consultation:
Prayer for the Synod
Adsumus, Sancte Spiritus
We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.
All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever. Amen.
Parishes are encouraged to make copies/distribute electronically any of these resources. Please share these on your parish website, newsletter, noticeboard, and social media. We want to hear from as many people as possible. If you require printed copies of these resources, please request these by emailing email@example.com.
Sr Nathalie Becquart
Synodality in the Universal Church
Wednesday 19th January 2022 (Online Event Via Zoom)
Bishop John Arnold
Local reality of the Church in Salford
Wednesday 9th February 2022
The People, the Spirit, and the Mission: sources for Pope Francis’s vision of a synodal Church
Wednesday 9th March 2022
Dr Jessie Rogers
Lessons from the First Synod in the Early Church – Acts 15
Wednesday 11th May 2022 (online)
When will the Synod take place?
The Diocesan Stage of the Universal Synod will take place from Sunday 28th November (the first Sunday of Advent). The initial stage will end on 1st March 2022. Eventually, after diocesan, national and continental gatherings, the Synod of Bishops will gather in Rome in 2023 to reflect on what has been heard.
Where will the Synod take place?
The Synod will take place across the entire diocese, and will be carried out through an online/paper questionnaire and through parish, school and community groups, in the spirit of prayer and discernment.
Who can participate?
Everyone! All the baptised are asked to share their personal experiences, but the synodal process is also open to all who want to help the Church on this journey.
How does the process work?
The process begins in each Diocese and then moves to the level of the Bishops’ Conference. From there, discernment takes place in the Regional Area – for England and Wales, it would be steered by the European Council of Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) – before moving to the Universal Church with the final Synod Gathering of Bishops in 2023.
What will happen to the submissions?
We will go through your submissions individually, making sure to consider every participant’s input. The data will be synthesised and presented publicly in an easily-understood format. This will help us in discerning the way forward for our Diocese, and will be considered on a national, continental, and universal level.
How can I make a response?
Anyone can send their own response (online or paper). Families, parish groups, parish leadership teams, Hope in the Future teams, schools (via chaplaincy teams, school council, governors, parents, staff). Parish meetings can also be held to prayerfully formulate a submission.
Who can I contact for more information?
For more information, please contact:
Synod, Cathedral Centre, 3 Ford Street, Salford, M3 6DP
Tel: 0161 817 2214