Home 9 Article 9 Growing in Synodality

Written by

Cardinal John Dew

Published on

August 12, 2022

Kia tau te rangimārie ki a koutou,  

Over the last few months thousands of people throughout the world have responded to the invitation of Pope Francis to be involved in building a more Synodal church. Through the Synod process, people expressed gratitude for being able to share their reflections about how the Church is currently journeying together and they inspired ways this could be achieved more successfully. Some felt this process was bringing the Second Vatican Council to our minds once again and saw it as a way of continuing this work. Understandably, many also expressed sadness, anger, and disappointment that the Church is not the place they hoped it would be and spoke of areas in need of healing and transformation.  

Those who participated expressed their hopes and aspirations, as well as their pain and concerns. These have been brought to the fore and will have to be addressed both internationally and locally. We can do much of that now – we do not have to wait until the actual Synod in Rome in October next year. I encourage you all to read and reflect on the Diocesan Synthesis Document for the Diocese of Palmerston North. A number of priorities for the diocese have emerged from the synodal process. We will begin exploring these more deeply over the coming months and I encourage you to participate in this important work.  

People were impressed by the Spiritual Conversation process and its emphasis on discernment. The prayer and silence was deeply appreciated and it was expressed often that this could become our normal way of working together. I fully support that idea and encourage people to engage in meetings and Church gatherings in this prayerful way of working together: 

1) First round of sharing… “in my prayer today… 

and I feel…  

2) Second round of sharing… “in the voice of the group today I heard… 

I heard the Holy Spirit saying… 

and this leaves me feeling…” 

3) Third round of sharing… listening, dialogue, discernment and decision making.  

This is a deeply Catholic way of working together, of praying and listening, discerning, and coming to a decision. Imagine what it would be like if we all worked in this way!  

Find out more about our local synodal process and the Spiritual Conversation method below.

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