My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
With the opening of the Synod on Synodality by Pope Francis, which will continue until October 2023, we have begun a time of renewal for the Catholic Church throughout the world. It is a time of gathering together and listening. All members of the body of Christ, men, women, and children, are invited to walk together and to discern how the Holy Spirit is calling us to live the Gospel in our present age.
In this Archdiocese, the Synod was initiated at a celebration of the Eucharist at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kingston on 17 October 2021. Together, we pray that the Holy Spirit may continue the work of conversion, prayer and the glorification of God in, and through, the Church. At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we must listen as a Church, so that we may live in grace in this present moment. We need to listen constantly to the Living Word that is proclaimed to us in the Mass, and when we read the Bible in our homes. The faithful of the Archdiocese are encouraged to enter this synodal process through prayer, listening and dialogue.
The fundamental task put before each of us is to re-learn or re-awaken our desire to listen to God. Reverent listening to God, through His Son, the Incarnate Word, is the first response of our Catholic life. From eternity, God speaks His Word, which is intended to shape and transform our lives. We are thankful for past graces; we live in the present moment, listening to the Word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit; we look ahead confidently to the life that God has prepared for His beloved.
Let us commit ourselves to ensuring that, when the Archdiocesan phase of the synod is complete, we will not close the door to reverent listening. Instead, let us commit to living the graces that God will provide through this synod process. As this challenging time of pandemic comes to an end, I look forward to making parish visits to meet with you, and to learn of the richness of your communities and of the fruits of your reverent listening to God’s Word in the mystery of our Catholic faith.
I invite you to contemplate the following prayer for the intentions of Pope Francis and the success of the Synod:
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. Alf 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. Amen.
Archbishop of Kingston