I had the esteemed honor of attending the now famous Synod 16 as a member of St. Valentine’s Parish. The three days were packed with so much it is hard to give you an adequate summary without taking multiple pages. I encourage you to go to the Michigan Catholic on line, November 25th edition, or the Archdiocesan website: www.aod.org for well written and captivating video portrayals of this historical event.
Throughout the preparation period and at the Synod itself, many themes surfaced. We were to find ways that would “change the DNA of the Archdiocese,” to “Unleash the Gospel “ and to encourage all of us to “become joyful missionary disciples,” professing the saving Love of Christ to all in southeastern Michigan.
At our first gathering of the Synod, we soon felt in our souls that these were not mere slogans. More than 400 Catholics processed outside singing Come Holy Ghost, in public streets along Washington Boulevard. During the ensuing mass at the magnificent St Aloysius Church, the fervor, and the intensity of the congregation was impressive and palpable. Something very different was happening here. Certainly the Holy Spirit was upon us and remained with us as we spent three days praying, discerning, discussing, evaluating, and prioritizing goals that will allow us to actualize the message in those themes. It was equally inspiring to witness members in all 6 of the AOD counties share similar deliberations and conclusions despite our diversity.
A pastoral letter from Archbishop Vigneron will likely be given during Pentecost 2017. What do we do until then? Well, one thing for sure that we should not do, is be a passive observer in our pew. It is time to change our own DNA, NOW!! As one synod members aptly said, “The challenge for the individual is to be a faithful Catholic, a committed Catholic, to be something worth sharing.“ To paraphrase a famous quote: ask not what God can do for you, but what you can do for GOD.
Thank you to all who prayed for us during the Synod. We are asked to continue praying for the success of Synod 16 and, if I may add, pray for the rebirth of us, the individual, as the Holy Spirit continues to guide us.
There are personal pictures from the event on our church bulletin board in the main vestibule.
Warmest Regards, and wishing you all a Blessed Christmas,
Synod 16 Prayer:
God our Father, you have called us to be witnesses to Jesus and have sent us on a mission to lead all people to encounter him. Send you Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds and enkindle our hearts, so that we may grow daily as your disciples. Empower us to face bravely the challenges of our time. Keep us close to you, together with Jesus your Son, Mary our Mother, and St. Anne our patroness as we engage in Synod 16 to Unleash the Gospel. Transform us into a band of joyful missionary disciples, who will bring the message of Jesus’ power and mercy to every person in Southeast Michigan. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.