A Message from Bishop Brian about the Synodal Process

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today’s Second Reading is from St Paul’s letter to the small Christian Community which he had founded in the Greek coastal city of Corinth. Paul is teaching these early disciples that God had given each one of the gifts of the Spirit. These gifts may bring the recipient personal benefit but their primary aim is to further the common good. Furthermore, the Corinthians did not all receive the same gifts. In his Wisdom God has decided which person receives a particular gift and to what degree. This means that each disciple has something unique to offer and that the Church can only fully function as God desires when all of us use in harmony and to the maximum the particular gifts of the Spirit we have been blessed with.

Pope Francis has invited every disciple, every parish, every diocese, and the Universal Church to reflect on this mystery. He has called it the Synodal process. The word ‘synod’ means ‘journeying together’. In an atmosphere of prayerful reflection, the Holy Father is calling us to reflect on the gifts we have received, where the Spirit is calling us to use these gifts today, and how well we are using them.

I believe that for this process to be successful it must be Spirit-led. Preparations are in hand for the communal stage within our diocese. Until it begins I invite you to ask for the Spirit’s guidance and to prayerfully reflect on the Spirit’s gifts, and their use, in your own life and then within your parish, our diocese, and the wider Church. 

I pray that the Synodal process will be a time of renewal as we strive to discover, and respond more fully, to God’s Will.