The Synod on Synodality is a universal activity of the Catholic Church from 2021 to 2023. The consultation will begin with the diocesan phase; then, the continental phase will be from September 2022 to March 2023. The third, universal phase will start with the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” at the Vatican in October 2023.
In order to carry out this Synod, the Archdiocese of San Fernando is developing a pastoral approach called Mákiramdam. The Archdiocesan Synod convened on October 17, 2021, with an Opening Mass celebrated at the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando by Archbishop Florentino G. Lavarias.
Parishes and communities will then host listening sessions from January 03 to April 15, 2022, in which clergy, parishioners, religious communities, and other community members will be invited to participate. Listening sessions hope that parishes and communities will discern together and share the joys and challenges of parish life so that parishes can accompany and journey with them.
Following that, parishes will be asked to submit a summary of their parish’s listening sessions through an online portal at www.rcasf.com/synod-submit.
Archbishop Lavarias will collaborate with the archdiocesan Synod team to create a 10-page report after the listening sessions are completed and submitted. Every diocesan report is sent to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, which compiles them into a national report. This national report will be used by the CBCP during the Synod’s continental phase in 2022, when episcopal conferences will gather to pray, listen, and dialogue together.
The continental reports will be submitted to the Synod of Bishops in Rome, which will use them to create the working report for the Universal Synod of Bishops in 2023.
Appointment of Archdiocesan
Synod Contact Persons and Team and preparation of materials for the consultation process
Eucharistic Celebration at the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando
Launching of the Archdiocesan Synod materials and general orientation
Archdiocesan / Vicariate Orientations and Parish/community preparations
• Parish / Organization Listening Sessions
• Archiocesan Consultations
•RCA Online Facebook Show
•Submission of parish/community Reports (deadline on April 30, 2022)
•Archdiocesan processing of reports
•Writing & Review of Synthesis
•Validation and Integration of the Synthesis report
•Thanksgiving Mass on May 28, 2022.
Submission of the Archdiocesan report to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
This Synod is a unique gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s a gift of time and talent – a chance to reconnect with our parish and communities. It allows inviting out people back to parish life.
This invitation to parish life begins with listening — to each other’s joys, hopes, sorrows, and anxieties, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Listening to one another is the foundation of conversation, friendship, and community life. This Synod is about encountering one another as brothers and sisters in Christ in a post-pandemic world, not changing doctrine or church structures or writing reports alone.
The Archdiocese of San Fernando hopes that this local Synod will allow parishes and communities to come together as we gradually recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19’s devastation affected many parishes and communities through illness, deaths, and missed celebrations such as First Communions, weddings, and local celebrations such as Maléldo and Simbang Bengi.
However, COVID-19 has also moved parishes through the incredible generosity of community members giving their time, talent, and treasure to create parish community pantries, the sacrifice of priests in anointing the sick, the passionate skill of our young people in bringing Christ into our homes through the media, and the unwavering dedication of our Catholic front liners.
Mákiramdam, our local Synod, wishes for parishes and communities to be enlightened by each other’s joys and sorrows, to be enlivened in gathering again as we recover from the pandemic, and to re-engage in parish life.