Wellington Archdiocese to have a Synod next year
Cardinal John Dew has announced that the fifth Synod for the Archdiocese of Wellington is to take place in 2017.
A diocesan synod helps to establish the ‘communion and mission’ of a diocesan community.
In the decree of convocation Dew said he was mindful of Pope Francis’ desire that we advance along the path of what he calls “a pastoral and missionary conversion which cannot leave things as they presently are”.
The letter continues, “Pope Francis explains what he means by pastoral and missionary conversion when he writes ‘Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says, ‘We have always done it this way’”
“It means being bold and creative in the task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelisation in our Diocesan community with its various parish and ecclesial, religious and social communities.”
“Pope Francis is re-shaping our priorities and attitudes, and we need to respond at the grassroots level to his vision,” Dew said.
“The last two archdiocesan synods focused on liturgy, youth and young adults, family, welcoming communities, adult education, social justice.
“These are all essential parts of the life of the Church but are mostly internal matters with focus on ourselves rather than on our mission.
“The parish amalgamation process has required us to have a strong internal focus over the last few years. There is more work to be done within parishes to further the amalgamation at a practical level, and to deepen communion in our parishes.
“But that communion must extend further, because Pope Francis is challenging us strongly to ‘go out’.
“In both his words and actions, Pope Francis consistently challenges us to rethink our approach and priorities.
“He returns to certain themes again and again: the peripheries of society; our own peripheries; refugees and migrants; care for creation; ecumenism; interfaith relations; accompanying the young.
Cardinal Dew concludes by saying that now is the time for the Archdiocese to reflect on how we can be a Church that is at the service of the world around us.
Thanks to CATHNEWS N.Z. for this article.
This is obviously not just ‘business as usual’ for the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Wellington. The convocation of a Wellington Arch-diocesan Synod in 2017 , by Cardinal John Dew, is a welcome sign of his willingness to follow in the way of his Chief Bishop, Pope Francis, in continuing the spirit of renewal in the local Roman Catholic Church.
Acknowledging the need for internal adjustments being made to accommodate the local amalgamation of parishes, Cardinal Dew also acknowledges the need to move on pastorally in order to bring the Good News of God’s love to the local neighbourhood and to the world outside of the Church.
Reflecting on recent moves made by Pope Francis to extend the concept of God’s mercy at work in the world beyond the borders of the Church – and into the real lives of ‘outsiders – one can only applaud this collaborative movement towards the recruitment of ‘all hands on deck’ in the convocation of a meeting that will harness the resources of the Church for Mission to the world around us.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand