Bishop Gregory Parkes will celebrate an opening Mass for the local phase of a worldwide consultation process in the Catholic Church known as the “Synod on Synodality.” The Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle at 11:30 a.m. All are invited to the celebration. Representatives from across the Diocese’s five counties will be in attendance. To learn more, visit www.dosp.org/synod
“Synod” is an ancient word in the history of the Church. In Greek, it means “walking together.” A Church that journeys together describes the entire history of the Catholic Church. Jesus Christ walked with his apostles and disciples from town to town. The early Christian community gathered together for prayer, worship and consultation.
The synodal process was reinvigorated by the Church in light of the Second Vatican Council. While the “Synod on Synodality” will be a convening of bishops from across the Catholic Church in October 2023, bishops are encouraged to seek input from their local church leading up to the gathering.
Bishop Gregory Parkes has appointed 12 people to serve on a Committee to plan sessions for prayer and discernment in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Details will be provided soon.
The theme for the “Synod on Synodality” is Communion, Participation and Mission.
a. Communion – Bringing people together as communities in the local Church begins this prayerful insight into the ways of the Holy Spirit. When the Church gathers for the Eucharist, and what flows from it, is when the necessary self-understanding of the mission of the Church is best understood. Thus, the dialogue at this level is rooted in the life of the ecclesial communities and parishes.
b. Participation – The reflections that the local Churches and communities are undertaking regarding the pandemic form the context of how the Church looks forward, not backwards, to revitalizing its mission of bringing the Good News to all. 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 the “walking together.”
c. Mission – Understanding the local situation will feed necessarily into an overview of the mission in the whole diocese. Like a mosaic, the vision is formed of the needs for renewal so that mission to all people is firmly rooted in the life of the local community who gather, by gentle invitation by the Lord, to worship him, to be sanctified by him and to exercise both an individual and collective prophetic voice.