ON SYNODS AND SYNODALITY
Perhaps you’ve heard of the worldwide synod process initiated by Pope Francis?
Or not? After all, most media don’t pay much attention to synods, admittedly a somewhat obscure topic. So, let’s review.
In Roman Catholicism, a synod is basically a type of meeting, or a series of meetings. Our local Archdiocese actually began its synod process before Pope Francis did. You may be among those who attended various sorts of local synod meetings over the past three years, whether here at St. Matt’s or regionally. Those meetings involved listening, preparation and engagement with laity, consecrated women and men, and clergy.
This weekend—the Feast of Christ the King—Archbishop Hebda is releasing his pastoral letter outlining his vision and Synod Priorities. He’s basing his letter on all those meetings. I know I’m curious to see what his vision and priorities are.
If you’re interested in learning more about our local synod, you can sign up to receive the pastoral letter and other Synod updates via email at archspm.org/synodupdates. You can also scan the QR code.
Most of what I know about synods is what I’ve read about in Commonweal, one of my favorite magazines. It’s edited by lay Catholics, and it covers religion, politics, arts and culture. I’d like to get a Commonweal discussion group going here at St. Matt’s, so please let me know if you’re interested.
In Commonweal, I’ve read about “synodality” as an antidote to clericalism in our church. That’s because good synod processes include listening to everyone in the church, including the laity. That aligns well with the Second Vatican Council’s emphasis on the importance of the laity. And, it aligns well with our identity as a volunteer parish.
We are replacing our current (2004) hymnals with new ones soon. (They’re on order. I don’t know when they’ll arrive. We’re hoping by Advent.) I’m pleased. Not only will the hymnal include some of the “greatest hits” of the past 18 years, it’ll also have a current order of Mass that reflects liturgical language changes instituted back in 2011.
If you would like to honor people in your life by dedicating a new hymnal to them, you’ll have that opportunity when they arrive. We’ll do that with a special nameplate we can put inside the front cover. The recommended donation is $20, which will be used to defray the cost of the hymnals.
Thank you for your support, and have a great week!