Opening of the Synod in the Archdiocese

Opening Mass of the Synod

On Oct. 20, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo formally marked the beginning of the local Synod process with an Opening Mass of the Synod at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. The following is an excerpt of his homily from that Mass:

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is the United Nations. It is the world in miniature, and it is, therefore, the Universal Church in miniature. Look at all the people even here tonight; you’re from every nation. Look at our priests and deacons; they’re from many, many nations — probably from every nation in the world. We’re from all over. It’s what makes us so magnificent and why a synod should be easy for us.

A synod is a conversation about who and what we are and what our experiences are. And that’s what we’re going to try to do in some intelligent, methodical form in the next few months.

The goal is not solving a problem. That’s not what synods do. And that’s what Pope Francis has told us. He wants us to talk together, and he wants us to disclose, not just to give answers, but to disclose who we are. And we’re not going to know it if we just talk alone. We have to speak together because the Spirit is the relationship, the string that holds us together.

As we seek to encounter the Lord, you don’t have to go across the sea. You don’t have to look up or down. Jesus is right with you, in your minds and hearts, if we are attentive to His word before we start any conversation and then just see what happens. I’d prefer that disclosure than anything else.

Are we going to reach conclusions? Pope Francis has told us, don’t worry about reaching conclusions. That’s not what you do two years before the synod in Rome. The synod in Rome will probably reach conclusions. And just like any human-divine operation, the synod in Rome in two years will be an interesting phenomenon of God working in the midst of human voices.

But what comes out, interestingly enough, as the Holy Father has said, is that if we discern, genuinely discern, first starting at the level of local churches, then getting larger and larger, we’ll find out God is speaking to His Church. The Lord Jesus is helping His Church to understand His life and our life for the life of the world.

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El 20 de octubre, el Cardenal Daniel DiNardo formalmente dio inicio al proceso local del Sínodo con una Misa de Apertura del Sínodo en la Co-Catedral del Sagrado Corazón. El siguiente es un extracto de su homilía de esa Misa:

La Arquidiócesis de Galveston-Houston es las Naciones Unidas. Es el mundo en miniatura y, por lo tanto, es la Iglesia Universal en miniatura.  Miren toda la gente que está aquí esta noche; son de todas las naciones. Vean a nuestros sacerdotes y diáconos; son de muchas, muchas naciones, probablemente de todas las naciones del mundo. Somos de todas partes. Es lo que nos hace tan magníficos y por qué un sínodo debería ser fácil para nosotros.

Un sínodo es una conversación sobre qué y quiénes somos y cuáles son nuestras experiencias. Y eso es lo que vamos a intentar hacer de forma inteligente y metódica en los próximos meses.

El objetivo no es resolver un problema. Eso no es lo que hacen los sínodos. Y eso es lo que nos ha dicho el Papa Francisco. Quiere que dialoguemos juntos y quiere que divulguemos, no solo para dar respuestas, sino para revelar quiénes somos. Y no lo sabremos si hablamos solos. Tenemos que hablar juntos porque el Espíritu es la relación, el hilo que nos mantiene unidos.

Mientras buscamos encontrarnos con el Señor, no es necesario que crucen el mar. No tienen que mirar hacia arriba o hacia abajo. Jesús está con ustedes en sus mentes y corazones, si estamos atentos a Su palabra antes de comenzar cualquier conversación y luego simplemente ver qué sucede. Yo preferiría esa divulgación más que cualquier otra cosa.¿Vamos a sacar conclusiones? El Papa Francisco nos ha dicho, no se preocupen por sacar conclusiones. Eso no es lo que se hace dos años antes del sínodo en Roma. El sínodo en Roma probablemente llegará a conclusiones. Y al igual que cualquier operación humano-divina, el sínodo en Roma en dos años será un fenómeno interesante de Dios trabajando en medio de las voces humanas.

Pero lo que resulta bastante interesante, como ha dicho el Santo Padre, es que si discernimos, si discernimos genuinamente, primero comenzando a nivel de las iglesias locales y después haciéndolo más y más extenso, descubriremos que Dios le está hablando a Su Iglesia.  El Señor Jesús está ayudando a Su Iglesia a comprender Su vida y nuestra vida por la vida del mundo.

 


Decree on the Opening of the Preparatory Diocesan Phase of the Sixteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

Whereas on September 15, 2018 Pope Francis issued the Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio in which it was decreed that Synods of Bishops are to begin with a Preparatory Phase in which the People of God will be consulted on the theme of the Synod Assembly (EC Art. 5 §2) within the particular Churches by means of recourse to the participatory bodies provided for by the law (EF Art. 6 §1); and

Whereas on April 24, 2021 Pope Francis approved a new synodal program for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops titled “For a synodal Church: communion, participation, and mission”; and

Whereas this synodal process initiates with a diocesan phase from October 2021 to April 2022 so that the People of God, who are themselves the subject of the sensus fidei, might be consulted and listened to in conformity to the Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio; and  

Whereas the Instructions (Vademecum) on the Synod on Synodality dated September 7, 2021 states that the diocese may make use of existing diocesan “synodal” bodies such as Parish pastoral Councils and the Diocesan Pastoral Council to organize, give life, and facilitate the Synodal Process at the local level, provided that efforts are made to reach out to the peripheries and to those whose voices are seldom heard;

Whereas Pope Francis formally opened the Synod by means of a Holy Mass on October 10, 2021 after which time he desired local liturgies to mark the opening of this synodal process in the local Churches;

I HEREBY DECREE

that the Prepartory Diocesan Phase of the Synod shall commence in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston by means of a Holy Mass on October 20, 2021;

This ongoing consultation and discernment will conclude with a pre-synodal meeting at which time the conclusions will be gathered and submitted to the Episcopal Conference at a date determined by said body of bishops.

Given at the Chancery Offices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on October 20, 2021.    

 

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston

Most Rev. Italo Dell’Oro, CRS
Chancellor