WelCom September 2017:
In the last few weeks, each time I have heard it said that the General Election is only ‘eight weeks away, seven weeks away, six weeks away’, I have been sent into a bit of a panic. The panic has not been because of the General Election looming, but because it actually meant the Archdiocesan Synod this month was drawing even closer. At those times when I have been sent into a semi-panic I have also been drawn up very quickly when I have realised just how many people are praying for the Synod’s success, and how much support there is for it. I have only had to look at the responses so many people have sent in as part of the consultation process to see how much interest there is, and to appreciate again how much people love the Church, want to be part of it and want the best for our Church of the Archdiocese of Wellington. There are many wonderful practical suggestions made as to how our faith communities can respond to ‘being sent out’, as well some strong challenges that have been laid before us. People of all ages, of many different ethnicities, and various stages of faith sent in wonderful responses. These have now formed the material for prayer, reflection and discussion at the Synod. In fact, we received so many responses we have added two other topics to the Synod material. They are: ‘Go you are sent…to develop a spirituality of service’ and ‘Go you are sent …to use your assets wisely’.
I am most grateful to everyone who responded. Your responses have enabled us to prepare the topics that will help all those at the Synod to guide me as we prepare for the next few years in the Archdiocese and as we make plans and move into the future. We will do all of this in the firm knowledge everyone who is baptised has a mission to take the Gospel with them wherever they go, and to be the very presence of Christ to everyone they meet.
As part of the Synod Preparation, some time ago I requested a message from Pope Francis. I am happy to share with WelCom readers the message received from Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of Pope Francis.
As part of the Synod Preparation, some time ago I requested a message from Pope Francis. I am happy to share with WelCom readers the message received from Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of Pope Francis. (Pope Francis’ message is below.)
We have the assurance of the Holy Father’s prayers for us, his blessing and the fact he has commended our Synod to the protection of Mary. I ask we all take to heart the quotation from Evangelii Gaudium (n. 11) about making the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel. When we do this over the Synod ’17 weekend this month, Pope Francis reminds us new avenues will arise, new paths of creativity will open up, we will find new and different forms of expression, and more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world. They are powerful words we can all reflect on and which will inspire us to ‘be sent out’.
Once again I invite you all to pray in a special way over the weekend of 15–17 September so we will all ‘recover the original freshness of the Gospel’.
Message from Pope Francis for Archdiocese of Wellington Synod 2017
“Whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world” – Evangelii Gaudium (11).
‘The Holy Father was pleased to learn that the Synod of the Archdiocese of Wellington will be held from 15 to 17 September 2017, and he asks you kindly to convey his greetings and good wishes to all assembled for this significant ecclesial event. His Holiness prays that the Synod will encourage all the faithful to face the opportunities and challenges of the present moment through a renewed encounter with Christ and the saving message of the Gospel. For “whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world” (Evangelii Gaudium, 11). So too Pope Francis asks those taking part in the Synod to listen attentively to one another in reading the signs of the times, so that, in prayer, they may discern God’s holy will and be authentic missionary disciples. With these sentiments, the Holy Father commends the Synodal process to the maternal protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and gladly imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord.”
Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope