What is a Synod?

The word Synod comes from 2 words in Greek which can be translated as "together on the road" or "together on the way". As followers of the Way we can see the importance of this.

Pope Francis has repeatedly said that the path of Synodality is the path that God expects from the Church in the third millennium. (Vatican City 19th Oct 2015).

In a homily at Mass in Santa Marta Chapel on 28th April 2016 Pope Francis said:

The way the Church expresses its communion is through synodality, by meeting, listening, debating, praying and deciding. The Spirit is always the protagonist and the Lord asks us not to be afraid when the Spirit calls us… Let us ask the Lord for grace to understand how the Church can face the surprises of the Spirit, to be docile and to follow the path which Christ wants for us and for the whole Church.

A Synod is a journey. The path we take will be formed as we journey together. The path will be formed by us and we will be formed by the journey. At the heart of this journey is discernment. This is more than just listening, it is allowing the Spirit of God to shape the way we hear and the way we act.

The Liverpool Archdiocesan Synod in 2020 will, to use the words of Archbishop Malcolm, enable us to regain our missionary spirit so that the call to holiness we heard in our baptism is expressed by a change of direction. Baptism has changed us so that as Christians we live no longer for ourselves but for others.

On our Synod journey we can hear and respond anew to the call of the Lord with open-hearted generosity and creative commitment. It is in this spirit that we can face the future with hope and confidence in Christ who is always close to those who seek to do his will.

Our Synod journey has three main stages: Prayer (Advent 2017 – September 2018), Discernment (September 2018 – September 2019), and Planning (September 2019 – June 2021).