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The Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg is participating in the Synod on Synodality, a listening and sharing opportunity that seeks to discern how the Holy Spirit is leading the Church to move forward. This initiative is part of a global consultation process led by Pope Francis

Pope Francis is reading the signs of the times and is seeking to develop “synodality” as a tool for the bishops in their role of governing the Church. In a world hurting from a pandemic, extreme weather conditions, massive migration, poverty, violence and moral relativism, the Church is asking us to “walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7) and pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis has called this moment in human history “a time of reckoning.” The themes from the Synod on Synodality can help us to understand why now is the right time to consider synodality more deeply:

a. Communion – Amidst so much suffering and isolation, we see clearly that we must come together as communities in the local Church. In prayerful communion, we gain insight into the ways of the Holy Spirit. When the Church gathers for the Eucharist, the mission of the Church is best understood. Thus, the life of the ecclesial communities and parishes, the importance of which we recognize now more than ever, roots and orients our practice of synodality and propels us forward.

b. Participation – This moment in which the Church responds to the global pandemic calls for the Church to look forward, not backwards, and to revitalize its mission of bringing the Good News to all. To undertake this mission, all the local Churches (dioceses) must reflect on the insights that the Holy Spirit has given to their faithful. The gentle call of invitation to the full practice of Catholic life, with the Eucharist at the center of all the Church does, is an integral part of this “walking together.”

c. Mission – By reading the signs of the times and listening to what the Holy Spirit has spoken in the hearts of the faithful, dioceses will gain a deeper understanding of the mission entrusted to each of them. Like a mosaic, the vision for each diocese is formed through attention to the needs of the faithful, to the need for renewal, and to the life of the local community who gathers in response to the gentle invitation of the Lord to worship Him, to be sanctified by Him, and to speak, individually and collectively, with the prophetic voice of His Holy Spirit.

Learn more at www.JourneyingTogether.org.

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