On Sunday 17th October 2021, the Diocese of Kingstown joined the rest of the AEC and the global Catholic community in launching the synodal journey that the universal Church would embark on for the next three years.

This initiative was initiated by Pope Francis in April 2021 when the Holy Father invited dioceses the world over to engage the people of God in a process of listening and discerning, under the theme; “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.”

When the Bishop, priests and the lay faithful gathered at Our Lady of Lourdes in Argyle, they launched the initiative in a solemn and prayerful atmosphere. The people sat as one and the programme began with the Synodality Prayer. The remainder of the programme followed the format of the church’s evening prayers (Vespers), and in the spirit of true community, saw the participation of the Bishop, the priests, the religious and the lay faithful who was represented by a handful of members from each parish.

In addressing the entire church community, Fr. Collin Jackson, Vicar for Pastoral Affairs and the priest who is leading the team that is responsible for engaging the people, challenged us to begin this process of authentic listening by first listening to ourselves. He invited us to reflect on our journey as a companion to others within our faith, as well as on how others have accompanied us.

In closing, Fr. Collin explained that “essential to this process is listening to those on the edge of society, those who used to be catholic. Authentic listening does not run away from the complicated and painful stuff.”

We can only pray that God would complete the good that He has started through this synodal journey.