In 2021 Pope Francis launched a Synod of the whole Church, in which he asks that everyone in the Church listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, dreaming and thinking of the type of Church we wish to be a part of. Along with all the bishops in the world, Bishop Patrick has asked each part of the diocese (parishes, chaplaincies, communities and schools) to be very involved in this listening and journeying process, so that as many voices as possible can be heard.
Our schools are central to the life and missionary activity of the Church. So that the voices of the young people can be heard loudly in our diocese, the bishop is asking for three actions over the coming three months:
That the Synod Prayer cards have been distributed to each member of your school community: each child will receive three, so that one can be kept by the pupil and the others given to someone else who might be a bit distant from the Church. The Bishop asks that the prayer be prayed each day.
Below is a link to the letter written by Bishop Patrick, it is rare for the Bishop to write a pastoral letter specifically for the young people of our diocese, underlining the importance of the Synod and this journey.
That the schools’ questions posed in the Synod Timeline be considered in school and responded to in whatever way might be helpful. The questions are given again below:
- What is my dream for the Church and my school? How can we make this happen?
- Who are the people who feel left out and excluded in the Church? How can we reach out, listen to, and love them? Think of two ideas, one for now and one for the future, to help include them.
- What does the Holy Spirit inspire us to do in our Church and school? What do you think the Holy Spirit is calling us to do next?
During October 2023 Pope Francis is meeting from Bishop’s all over the world to discuss the future of the Church. The questions we answered were fed back to Bishop Patrick, who along with other Bishop’s in England and Wales, collated answers from people across the country. These responses will be discussed by Pope Francis and other Bishops and will help to shape the future of our Church. To mark this occasion, the Our Lady of Lourdes CMAT will be holding their own Synod, across the 36 schools in the Trust, to discuss how we too can make sure everyone feels included in our Church and school communities.