Live Synodality

Pope Francis has invited us to respond to the action of the Holy Spirit to become a more synodal Church, to deepen communion and carry out the mission of Jesus Christ in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. 

Responding to this invitation and the experience of Australia’s own Plenary Council, Bishop Vincent Long, the fourth Bishop of Parramatta, convened our first Diocesan Synod in 2023. The Synod formed the foundation of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan for a Synodal Church, which will be launched at the Diocesan Gathering on Saturday 10 August 2024.

In early 2023, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv formally announced the convocation of the first Diocesan Synod for the Diocese of Parramatta.

Between May and July 2023, we engaged in a series of deanery and parish listening consultations that provided an opportunity for people from all walks of life to share their thoughts and experiences of faith, church, and mission. The results of the listening consultations were used to inform the synod’s discernment process.

The Synod assembly was held from 13 to 15 October 2023, where we gathered clergy, consecrated, and the laity from across our Diocese to listen, discern, and respond to the Holy Spirit through voices of the People of God in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

In January 2024, the official Decrees and Declarations of the Synod were launched, outlining the Synod’s outcomes and forming the foundation for the Diocesan Pastoral Plan for a Synodal Church, developed between February and July 2024. The practice of synodality continued with local and Diocesan Think Tank Sessions involving leaders, ministry teams, and community members. Submissions from these Think Tank Sessions provided valuable insights and actionable recommendations for implementing the Synod resolutions within the diocese.

In August 2024, the Diocese of Parramatta will hold a Diocesan Gathering to engage the faithful in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains in discussing the Plan’s implementation within their communities.

Pope Francis has called for a worldwide synodal process and has encouraged all Catholics to work towards honoring the baptismal call of every person in the life of the Church. He believes that this will help the Church to be more responsive to the needs of its people and to be more faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Synodality is about listening to, discerning, and responding to the
Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit speaks through the whole people of God, not just to a select few. By participating in the synod process, people from all walks of life are able to contribute to the discernment of the Holy Spirit’s guidance for the diocese.

Synodality is also about deepening communion within the Church. When people from different backgrounds come together to pray, listen, and discern together, it helps to strengthen the bonds of unity and community.

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