In March 2020, Pope Francis announced that the theme for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops would be “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”.
The journey towards the celebration of the Synod in October 2023 opened on October 9-10, 2021 in Rome, and on October 17 in each particular Church.
On September 7, 2021, the preparatory document and the vademecum (handbook) for the synodal journey were released. With the convocation of the Synod of Bishops on the themes of communion, participation and mission, Pope Francis invites the entire Church to reflect on a theme that is decisive for its life and mission: “It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium. This journey, which follows in the wake of the Church’s ‘renewal’ proposed by the Second Vatican Council, is both a gift and a task.”
The fundamental question that guides this consultation of the People of God is the following: A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together:” How is this “journeying together” happening today in your particular Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?
In order to respond, you are invited to read and reflect on the questions in the material provided and submit your response. You can contribute as a group or as an individual.
Reflecting on Synodality as a group is the best way to journey together. Contact your parish/diocese to find out how you can join a group. Or, get together with friends and family to form your own group! You may even want to consider reaching out to others beyond your parish community and invite them to take part. Their voice matters too!
Use the guides below (one for each theme) and follow the instructions within the guide to submit your response.
You may also wish to reflect on the synod questions as an individual: Here are the resources to guide you through the process.
This portal accepts submissions of your or your group’s reflection of 250 words or less. If you would like to make a larger submission, please send it directly to your diocese. When you are ready to submit your response, click on the button below. These responses will be sent to your diocese to form part of the diocesan contribution to the Synod of Bishops.