On October 10, Pope Francis formally opened a synod on journeying together as a Church. The official theme of the synod is “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.” In this synod, Pope Francis invites the People of God to listen to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God and discern how to participate more deeply in the mission of the church and the communion into which Christ desires to draw us.  The first phase of the synod is the diocesan phase which was officially began in the Diocese of Phoenix on October 17. This phase will end  in April of 2022 with the submission of a diocesan report to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The three dimensions of the synod are as follows:
Communion: By His gracious will, God gathers us together as diverse peoples of one faith through the covenant that He offers to His people. The communion we share finds its deepest roots in the love and unity of the Trinity. It is Christ who reconciles us to the Father and unites us with each other in the Holy Spirit. Together, we are inspired by listening to the Word of God, through the living Tradition of the  Church. We all have a role to play in discerning and living out God’s call for His people.
 
Participation: A call for the involvement of all who belong to the People of God – laity, consecrated and ordained – to engage in the exercise of deep and respectful listening to one another. This listening creates space for us to hear the Holy Spirit together, and guides our aspirations for the Church of the Third Millennium. Participation is based on the fact that all the faithful are qualified and are called to serve one another through the gifts they have each received from the Holy Spirit.
 
Mission: The Church exists to evangelize. We can never be centered on ourselves. Our mission is to witness the love of God in the midst of the whole human family. This Synodal Process is intended to enable the Church to better witness to the Gospel, especially with those who live on the spiritual, social, economic, political, geographical and existential peripheries of our world.
 
More information will be shared in the future about our Parish’s participation in the synodal process. Please visit the Diocesan website dphx.org/synod for more information.
Following is the text of Pope Francis’ homily from the Mass in which the synod was formally opened: