Cardinal urges religious to join local preparation for Synod of Bishops
Consecrated virgins, hermits and members of religious orders, individually and as communities, should take part in the consultations for the Synod of Bishops, because “to ensure that the synodal church is not a mirage, but rather a dream to be realised, it is necessary to dream together, to pray together and to work together,” said Cardinal João Braz de Aviz.
The cardinal, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, asked consecrated men and women to participate in the diocesan-level listening sessions scheduled to begin in October as the first step of preparation for the 2023 assembly of the Synod of Bishops, discussing the theme, “For a synodal church: communion, participation and mission.”
Pope Francis is scheduled to formally open the synod process at the Vatican Oct. 9-10, the synod office said. And the bishop of every diocese should open the process in his diocese Oct. 17. The diocesan phase will go through April 2022, featuring a consultation with local Catholics discussing a preparatory document and questionnaire that the synod office will send out along with guidelines for how the consultation should work.
Writing to consecrated men and women, in a letter posted on the synod website in late July, Cardinal Braz de Aviz said the synodal process can benefit from the “prophetic dimension” of consecrated life, its focus on communion with the church and its experience with discerning God’s will.
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