Synod 2021-2023: For a Synodal Church

“Synodality starts with hearing from the whole People of God. A Church that teaches must be firstly a Church that listens.
Consulting all members of the Church is vital because, as the Second Vatican Council reminded us, the faithful as a whole are anointed by the Holy Spirit…”
Pope Francis

On Sunday 10 October 2021, Pope Francis officially opened the Synod of Bishops with the theme, For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission. The following weekend, a period of local consultation was launched in dioceses around the world, inviting all Catholics to take part in an intentional process of mutual listening that will span two years and engage the people of God in a journey of communion, participation and mission. This listening process will culminate in the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2023.

An introduction to the Synod of Bishops
Credit: Sydney Centre for Evangelisation

The fundamental questions:

A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together”;
How is this ‘journeying together’ happening today in your Parish?
What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our ‘journeying together’?

Prayer for the Synod 

As we embrace this Synodal Process, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to be at work in us so that we may be a community and a people of grace.

We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.

We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.

Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.

All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever.


Our Diocesan Journey

Dec 21 – Early Feb 22

Breaking Open the themes of Communion, Participation and Mission in Parish newsletters

Feb 22-Mid-March 22

Coffee Conversations in Parishes

Darwin Diocese Reflection

The Darwin Diocese online portal opens until 25 March 2022 for reflections

1 Apr – 1 May 2022

Collation of data and preparation of Diocesan Reports

TBC May 2022

A pre-synodal gathering in Parishes to mark the close of the diocesan consultation stage. A celebration of what has occurred in the preceding stage.

By 1 May 2022

Diocesan contribution submitted to the NCPR for drafting of the Australian synthesis.

25 May and 15 June 2022

National synthesis prepared and finalised between 25 May and 15 June 2022.

August 2022

The Australian synthesis will be sent to the Secretariat of the Synod in August 2022

Australian Catholic Bishops – National Resources

A dedicated page has been set up on the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference website to host content for the Synod, with links to the preparatory document and vademecum (handbook). Resources have been prepared to assist groups and individuals in their reflection and discernment prior to making a submission on the national portal. The national online portal is open until 27 February 2022 for submissions.

Visit the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference website here.