Synod consultation process in CMI Dec 12

By Henry Chua

Jan 4 2022

BUKIT PADANG – In his address to the participants, parish priest Fr Paul Lo expressed his thankfulness to the ’40-strong’ who were there to attend the Church of Mary Immaculate (CMI) Synodal Consultation Process on Sunday afternoon Dec 12.

The process began with the enthronement of the bible by Fr Lo, followed by a scripture reading taken from 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 which acted as a reminder to the participants that “Just as a human body, though it is made up of many parts, is a single unit because all these parts, though many, makes one body, so it is with Christ.” The Gospel reading was taken from Luke 4:16 to 21.

Delving further into his address, Fr Lo explained that the Synod of Bishops is a meeting of bishops of the world. This was a fruit of the 2nd Vatican Council II from 1962 to 1965 which was announced by the then Pope St. John XXIII. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to open the window for the Holy Spirit, for the new breath of the Holy Spirit to renew the church.

His wish was rejected at first by others in the council as they had no confidence in him to initiate such council but he proceeded with the inspiration. After his demise, he was succeeded by Pope St Paul VI who continued his effort and brought the Vatican Council II to conclusion in 1965. One of the results was the creation of the Synod of Bishops to invite bishops from all over the world to meet every four years in Rome.

This coming Synod of Bishops in 2023, Pope Francis wanted something new by extending it to the grassroots of the church where all parishes and all the faithful in the world to be involved in the process, and be heard, focusing on a ‘synodal church’. Synod means walking or journeying together – this is to be the image of the church from now on.

Fr Lo reflected this in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 24, where two of the disciples on their way to Emmaus were journeying together with Jesus, and sharing with Him all the joys, hopes, disappointments and frustrations of the people of the God, and how in the presence of the Lord they were transformed.

Fr Lo emphasized that it was important to be involved in the process and reminded participants that it was not to change the teachings of the church, but for the church to listen to our voices concerning our faith life and experience in the diocese.

It is a process to see how we can fit in the program of the Lord, to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to proclaim the good news to the whole world that Jesus brought to us. The synodal consultation focuses on the theme ‘Participation, Communion and Mission’ and discussion will be based on it.

Datuk Patrick Tan briefed the participants on the process where everyone would be answering two questions each focusing on ‘Communion: Companions on the Journey’; Participation: Dialogue in Church and Society; and ‘Mission: Sharing responsibility for our common mission.’

Synod consultation process in CMI Dec 12

Each group would be given an hour and at the end of the discussion, a representative from each group would be required to share their discussions to the others. Before proceeding into the break-up session, participants were led in the invocation of the Holy Spirit, to invite the Holy Spirit to guide them in their discussions in moving forward.

As the consultation process concluded, leaders/members of each ministries/groups were encouraged to bring this consultation process to their members and to conduct similar sessions either physically or virtually, and to submit their report on or before 31 March 2022. All reports received will then be processed and forwarded to the Archdiocese by end of April 2022.

This Synodal Consultation Process was organized by the Parish Pastoral Committee for the participation of two to three leaders/members from each ministry and group that comes under CMI.

The ’40-strong’ were from the English speaking communities and were represented by the Parish Pastoral Committee (PPC), Extraordinary Ministers of Communion (EMC), Readers, Altar servers, Choir and Children Liturgy of the Word (CLOW), Catechetical, Catholic Women’s League (CWL) Legion of Mary (LOM), Catholic Nurses Guild, KK (CNGKK), Zones and Taman leaders under the Parish Family Pastoral Network (PFPN).