Syndon consultation 2021

St. Mary’s Blackheath                                                                  October 2021.

Dear Friends,

The Synod in Rome 2023.

The Holy Father has set in motion a process of worldwide Consultation leading to the Synod of Bishops that will take place in Rome in 2023.

He has invited everybody to take part in the process of preparation by sharing their thoughts and ideas. The preparation will take place in our own parish, at Diocesan level, at national level and the results will be sent to Rome.

Time is short and the consultation at parish level must be completed by 18th November.

I have asked two members of the parish to help with this task, Colm Lanigan and Una Palmer.

I suggest that there will be four ways in which you can share your thoughts:

  1. There will be a parish meeting to be held in the Big Hall on evening of Thursday 4th November at 7.30pm.
  2. You may wish to submit your thoughts online and these can be sent to me at stm.blackheath@tiscali.co.uk.
  3. Alternatively, you may wish to submit your thoughts online direct to the Diocesan office at synod@rcaos.org.uk
  4. You may prefer to send a written response to the Diocesan office and the address is Synod Submissions, c/o Archbishop’s House, 150, St. George’s Road SE1 6HX.

To help you there is a Diocesan website: www.rcaos.org.uk/synod

For the Bishops Conference in England and Wales www.cbcew.org.uk/synodal-church/

From the Synod office in Rome in different languages www.synod.va/en.html

To help with our discussion, three main themes have been suggested – Communion – Participation – Mission. As an appendix I enclose a series of questions based on these three themes. I realise that these are quite comprehensive and may seem daunting. Indeed, you may not feel that you have an answer to all of the questions.

In turn you may feel that there are important issues which are not included in a specific form in these three papers.  Please feel free to submit your own thoughts and ideas on these issues and I assure you that they will be included in the submission from our parish.

I realise that this may seem to be a daunting task requiring a considerable amount of time. However, at the request of the Holy Father and of our Archbishop I put all this to you and as always, would greatly appreciate your thoughts and help.

With kindest wishes,   Monsignor Nicholas Rothon

Mission

The People of God are on pilgrimage through history towards the heavenly homeland. Each one of the baptised is to be honoured with the same dignity as children of God and appointed to the same mission, the proclamation of the Good News and the building of the Kingdom of God.

1. Given what you see of the Church (words and actions), in the parish and beyond, what would you say is the Church’s mission?

2. How might we find a shared understanding of mission in the different parishes and Catholic institutions in the Archdiocese of Southwark?

3. Are we looking in or are we looking out, as a parish community? Can we do both effectively?

4. From a missionary perspective, how would you characterise both the local situation and local needs in your parish and community?

5. How is your parish set up for evangelisation? How does your parish reach out to the broader community with the Good News?

6. Where is the Holy Spirit calling you to mission and service today?

7. In what ways do you already intentionally and actively seek to share the Good News of Jesus Christ?

8. How does the life of the parish, in terms of catechesis, adult formation, liturgy etc. aid in the formation of parishioners as missionary disciples?

9. How can the call to holiness and the call to mission be reflected in different aspects of parish life?

Communion

The Church is Catholic because she is sent to all, in order to gather the entire human family from every nation and culture, under the Lordship of Christ and in the unity of his Spirit.

1. What are the ways in which your parish most successfully brings people together?

2. In which areas of parish life (liturgical, charitable, social etc.) does your parish feel and act as one?

3. In which areas of parish life (liturgical, charitable, social etc.) are you able to discern

the presence and movement of the Holy Spirit?

4. How is the Holy Eucharist the main focal point for your parish?

5. Is the parish the sole locus for Communion in your area?

6. Christ is present as the head united to his body (Ephesians 1:22-23) in our parishes and communities. How is this reflected in your parish/community life? Are there other reasons that you gather together?

7. In what ways can you help to build up communion effectively and authentically in the coming months and years?

8. How do you relate to members of the Church who have drifted away from practice?

9. How does your parish relate to other parishes nearby and the diocese as a whole?

Participation

Participation is based on the fact that all the faithful are qualified and called to serve each other through the gifts they have all received from the Holy Spirit. The authority of pastors is a specific gift of the Spirit of Christ the Head for the building up of the entire Body.

1. Reflecting on 16 months of the pandemic, how has participation in your parish

been affected? Were these issues there before?

2. How can participation be strengthened moving forward into the future?

3. What are the means by which different voices can be heard in your parish (particularly those on the periphery of parish life)?

4. Which groups and individuals are least included in your parish?

5. How can you broaden the way you include people whilst keeping always true to the

Gospel and our core Christian identity?

6. How do you currently participate, personally, in the life of the Church? How much responsibility do you have as an individual?

7. How can we better enable full participation and co-responsibility in the life of the Church at the parish and diocesan levels?

8. How does your parish effectively identify and use the gifts of its people?

9. How do families and young people effectively participate in life of your parish? How do you support them?

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