Sisters Attend Global Synod Meeting
by Sarah Naughton, OP
More than 105 individuals from around the world representing institutes of consecrated religious life of women and men were invited by the Vatican General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops to gather virtually to participate in the current phase of the Synod on Synodality that was launched in Rome in October 2021 by Pope Francis. The two-hour process was conducted in French, Spanish, Italian, and English.
This piece of the synodal process was directed to the vowed members of all global religious institutes. Maggie Hopkins, OP, and Sarah Naughton, OP, participated in the gathering. The session was organized and led by Cardinal Mario Greco; Sister Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ; and Msgr. Luis Marian De San Martin, OSA.
The presentation encouraged participants to engage all the members of the separate institutes in the same processes that some in the Catholic community have already completed. Those parts addressed organizational and statistical information. This part is wanting to hear about the living of the mission in communion in the midst of all the other realities—social, political, geographic—of our world today.
Our Congregation’s participation this spring is a significant piece of the four phases of the 2021–23 synodal process. Those four phases are—
1. The Diocesan Phase; 2. The Episcopal Conference/Synods of Oriental Churches Phase; 3. The Continental Phase; and 4. The Universal Phase.
What We Heard
Religious institutes are icons of solidarity in and for the local church. This Synod on Synodality is the most significant development in the Catholic community since the Second Vatican Council. The documents from that Council have brought us to this point. Listening to the Holy Spirit within each person is the first and most important activity. The Spirit calls each of us to follow Christ. Be involved. If you are not involved, you stop the work of the Spirit. Dare to do the difficult work. Take risks for the sake of following Christ. Let your enthusiasm show. Be joyful. This synod is not only a meeting with an outcome. Rather this synod is a process, calling us to be comfortable with walking together and learning from one another.
Diocese of Madison Listening Sessions Open to All
St. Dennis, Madison, held a synod listening session Feb. 27. Dominicans of Sinsinawa were represented by eight vowed members and four Associates. Other listening sessions have taken place in Monroe, La Valle, Watertown, Darlington, and Clinton. Listening sessions yet to be scheduled will occur in Westfield, Berlin, DeForest or Marshall, and Pardeeville. A location for a session in Grant County has yet to be determined. Two sessions currently scheduled include the following:
May 15, 2022, at St. Augustine Parish, Footville, with Father Lawrence Kaycee Oparaji.
May 24, 2022, at SS. Anthony and Philip Parish, Highland, with Father Jim Murphy.
Plan on attending a session near you soon!