13 Oct 2021
Opening of World of Synod of Bishops on Synodality
Request use of alternative texts on Sunday October 17 2021 - 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Grace and peace, I hope this note finds you well.
On Sunday, Pope Francis celebrated Mass to mark the global launch of the Synod of Bishops with the theme: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission. In dioceses around the world, local launches will take place this coming weekend, ushering in a period of local consultation that will assist with the two-year process that will culminate in the Synod of Bishops gathering in Rome in October 2023.
As you know, the Ordo names this as the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. However, on the occasion of the opening of a World Synod, it would be appropriate for all local communities to celebrate using the Readings from the Mass for a Council or Synod (Lectionary for Mass III, pp. 430-434) and the Prayers either from the Mass for a Council or a Synod (Roman Missal, pp. 1310ff) or those from the Mass of the Holy Spirit (RM 1407ff) and the Preface of the Holy Spirit (RM 1408)
Parish Priests are encouraged to use these Prayers and Readings in their parishes, thereby highlighting to all the faithful the importance of the Synod for the Catholic Church around the world and their communion in prayer with all participants.
A page on the Bishops Conference website has been set up as a hub for Synod of Bishops content. It has links to the preparatory document and vademecum (handbook) for the Synod, and a video produced by the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation explaining the Synod process can also be accessed there: www.catholic.org.au/synodalchurch
Given the significant interest in the Synod of Bishops and its relationship with the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, there is a document on that web page showing the anticipated timelines and milestones for those two important journeys.
I once again commend your efforts in ensuring that we provide every opportunity for the Church throughout Australia to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit at this time to join in one heart and voice in the liturgies that will be celebrated internationally for the commencement of this world synod.
Archbishop Patrick O'Regan