The Synod of Bishops will meet in October 2023 to explore the theme of synodality – journeying together– in the life of the Church. Though two years away from gathering in Rome, preparations for this XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops – For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and, Mission – have begun.
During this preparatory phase, Pope Francis desires the involvement of the People of God. He wants the Church to journey together: walking forward, listening to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. To this end, the Holy Father has asked every diocese to have an experience of synodality from October 2021 until April 2022.
I have asked Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski to lead our diocesan synodal process. With his characteristic joy, enthusiasm. and collaborative spirit, he will ensure our journeying together is fruitful and graceful. In the coming days, he will communicate how the experience of synodality can be lived in the Diocese. especially in our parishes.
As we begin, let us continue to ask for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as well as the powerful intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church.
Fraternally in Christ,
Most Reverend John O. Barres
Bishop of Rockville Centre
The Church of God is now convoked in Synod. The path entitled “For a Synodal Church; Communion, Participation, and Mission” was solemnly opened on October 10, 2021, by the Holy Father Francis in Rome, and following Sunday, on October 17, 2021, it was also opened in our Cathedral by Bishop John Barres. We are reminded that the People of God are called to “journey together” in two deeply interconnected ways. First, we journey together with one another as the People of God. Second, we journey together as the People of God with the entire human family. These two perspectives enrich one another and are helpful for our common discernment towards deeper communion with each other and more fruitful mission.
The Diocesan Phase will be for all of us a challenge and great opportunity. We will make our best efforts to prioritize the consultation process in the way that will offer as many people as possible to have a truly synodal experience of listening to one another and walking forward together, guided by the Holy Spirit. Also, we hope that this experience will provide an opportunity for all of us in the local Church to be illuminated by the new depths of the Word of God, invigorate our mission of ongoing evangelization.
Let our continuous prayer guide us and sustain us on this Journey Together.
We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.
This we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever.
Fraternally in Christ,
Most Reverend Andrzej J. Zglejszewski
Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre
“Every encounter – as we know – calls for openness, courage, and a willingness to let ourselves be challenged by the presence and the stories of others.”
“Let us entrust the synodal process to God through the maternal intercession of Mary, Queen of the Apostles and Mother of the Church.”