Bishop Gary Gordon invites you to help chart a course for our journey together, now and in the future, as the people of God. 

A synod is a listening and discernment process. The word synod is derived from an ancient Greek term that means “coming together” or “traveling together.”

In Synod 2021-2024, the whole People of God have been called to walk together as the Holy Spirit helps us to discern the Lord’s will for his Church. Pope Francis has invited Catholics everywhere to re-learn the ways of being church together, to create spaces of encounter and mutual listening that incorporate the gifts of all the baptized, as we face the many challenges of renewing the life of the Church for our time.  

The Diocese of Victoria Diocesan Permanent Pastoral Synod will allow us to continue our journey on the road of Communion, Participation, and Mission that began with Synod 2021-2024.

Diocesan Permanent Pastoral Synod  

"I am inspired by the wisdom that has been shared in Synod 2021-2024 so far, and am confident the Holy Spirit will guide and direct us as we establish a Diocesan Permanent Pastoral Synod in the Diocese of Victoria."

Bishop Gary's Pastoral Letter on the Diocesan Permanent Pastoral Synod announced the formation of the Diocesan Permanent Pastoral Synod (DPPS) at Pentecost 2023.

As we establish the Diocesan Permanent Pastoral Synod (DPPS) over the months of 2023/2024, each pastor/pastoral administrator with their parish has been asked to choose one or two Local Listening Facilitators.  These people are being provided with training and guidance in the skills of listening and creating safe environments to ensure healthy dialogue, and may start holding Listening Circles in their communities on the theme of "My Story of Faith"

The annual DPPS cycle will then begin in late 2024.

DPPS cycle

Click here for a printable flyer about the Diocesan Permanent Pastoral Synod.

Synod 2021-2024: Diocesan Phase  

Nearly five hundred people in the Diocese of Victoria participated in the Diocesan Phase of Synod 2021-2024 through 88 Listening Circles and 22 written submissions.  Our process was based on gathering responses to our fundamental Synod questions.  Participants were encouraged to share, with honesty and openness, their real-life experiences, and to reflect together on what the Holy Spirit might be revealing to the Church, the people of God, through the things they share with one another.

Our Diocesan Synod Team worked to combine these responses into a report that was submitted to the Assembly of Western Catholic Bishops (AWCB) in June 2022:

The AWCB combined all the responses from Western and Northern Canadian dioceses into a single document, which was sent to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).:

This synthesis was used along with reports from the Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic regions to draft a national synthesis, which was submitted to the General Secretariat of the Synod in Rome in August 2022:

Synod 2021-2024: Continental Phase  

Based on the National Syntheses submitted by each Episcopal Conference in the world, the General Secretariat of the Synod created the “Document for the Continental Stage” (DCS).  This was released on 27 October 2022, officially embarking the universal Church on the Continental Stage of the Synod.  

In North America, the Synod Secretariat asked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the CCCB to work together during the Continental Phase. Their task was to compare the DCS with the experiences that mark the Church in North America, and to seek out resonances, tensions, and themes. 

The North American meetings of the Continental Stage happened online in twelve sessions from December 2022 to January 2023.  Each Bishop in Canada and the United States was invited to attend, as well as other delegates from each diocese/eparchy.  Based on the Listening Circles held during these sessions, the CCCB/USCCB writing team completed the "North American Final Document for the Continental Stage of the 2021-2024 Synod" in April 2023.

To learn more about the activities of each of the Continental Assemblies, please visit

Synod 2021-2024: Universal Phase  

Based on all the material gathered during the Diocesan and Continental phases of the Synod, especially the Final Documents of the Continental Assemblies, the Instrumentum laboris (IL) was created:

The IL was a working tool for the participants of the first session of the Universal Phase of the Synod.  It was not a draft of the Synod's final report, but rather a tool for discernment - it articulated insights that had emerged in the synodal process so far, opened up questions, and invited further study.

From October 4-29, 2023, over 300 delegates from around the world gathered in Rome to participate in the first session of the Universal Phase of Synod 2021-2024.  Masses, prayers, briefings and presentations from the gathering were shared on the Vatican News YouTube channel, and the official Synod website shared the texts of homilies and presentations.

At the close of the first session of the Universal Phase of Synod 2021-2024, the 365 voting members of the assembly, which for the first time included lay men and women, released a Letter to the People of God giving thanks for their experience, detailing their work, and expressing their hope for the coming months.

The assembly also released a Synthesis Report which traces the path for the work to be done in the second session in October 2024.

The second session of the Universal Phase of the Synod will be held in October 2024.

Learn more about Synod 2021-2024  

To learn more about the Synod, visit the official Synod website at, and watch the video below:

Pope Francis' Synod 2021-2024 Opening  
Bishop Gary Gordon's Synod 2021-2024 Homily  

In the Diocese of Victoria, Bishop Gary formally launched the first phase of the Synod on Sunday, October 17th at St. Mary’s Church in Port McNeill. You can watch a recording of the livestream below:

Bishop Gary Gordon's Synod 2021-2024 pastoral letter and video introduction  

Read Bishop Gary's pastoral letter here, and watch his video introduction to the Synod below:


Fundamental Synod 2021-2024 Questions for the Diocese of Victoria  

A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, "journeys together":

1) How is this "journeying together" happening today in your church or community?

- As you reflect on “journeying together”, what are the ways you feel you are experiencing this?
- Are there ways you wish you could experience it?
- Can you think of anything that prevents you from experiencing it?

2) What steps does the Spirit invite us to take to grow in our "journeying together"?

- What comes to mind when you envision ways you would like to be more engaged in "journeying together”?

3) As you were answering questions 1 and 2, what thoughts and emotions stirred in you?  These insights might relate to how you envision being part of "journeying together" in new or expanded ways.

Diocese of Victoria Listening Circles  

We designed our Listening Circles to focus on listening to one another. They happened in two parts:

1. Sharing reflections/experiences based on the Fundamental Questions
2. Sharing responses to others’ reflections/experiences

A third part, the discernment of the Holy Spirit, was conducted by the Synod Team.

The Listening Circles were a time for sharing personal reflections and experiences, and for listening. They were not a time to debate issues, try to solve problems, or come to conclusions.

Each session took up to two hours. People shared their experiences and responses in a small group of no more than six people. The small groups collected the experiences and responses as a record of the sharing.

Before people participated in a Listening Circle, we encouraged them to read the Participant's Package.

Hosting Listening Circles in the Diocese of Victoria  

We encouraged parishes, faith groups, and other communities to host their own Listening Circles.  The links below have resources that helped people organize and run a Circle:

Diocese of Victoria Listening Church response form  

People who were not able to participate in a Listening Circle, or who wanted to offer their own personal reflections, were invited to complete our Listening Church response form.

Reflection: Synodality makes us 'dare to listen'  

Dominican Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, former Master of the Order of the Preachers, reflects on the importance of "daring to listen" as part of the Church's journey of synodality.

Synod prayer  

Adsumus, Sancte Spiritus: Prayer of invocation to the Holy Spirit 

The prayer Adsumus Sancte Spiritus has been historically used at Councils, Synods and other Church gatherings for hundreds of years.  Attributed to Saint Isidore of Seville (c. 560 - 4 April 636), its name comes from the first words of the Latin original, and mean: “We stand before You, Holy Spirit,”

As we are called to embrace this synodal path of journeying together, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to operate within us so that we may be a community and a people of grace. For our gatherings, we will use a simplified version that any group can pray more easily:

We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.

We are weak and sinful;

do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.

Let us find in You our unity

so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.

All this we ask of You,

who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever.