Synod 2021 - 2023
Bishop Gary Gordon invites you to help chart a course for our journey together, now and in the future, as the people of God.
Read his pastoral letter here, and watch his video introduction to the Synod below:
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 this synod on synodality, Pope Francis is inviting 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.
For more information, visit the official Synod website at Synod.va, and watch the video below:
This Synod has implications not only on the universal Church, but also on the local Church - the people of God. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria has developed a process that we will be using as a diocese, parish, or ecclesial group. This process is based on gathering responses to the fundamental Synod questions.
There are three ways to participate:
- Take part in an in-person Listening Circle
- Take part in an online Listening Circle
- Complete our Listening Church response form
More information about these options are in the sections below.
Participants are 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.
The responses from everyone who participates will be collected so that the synthesis from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria can be sent on to other levels of the Church. Eventually, syntheses from dioceses around the world will be used in the 2023 Synod of Bishops.
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.
We have designed our Listening Circles to focus on listening to one another. They will happen 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, will be conducted by the Synod Team.
The Listening Circles are a time for sharing personal reflections and experiences, and for listening. They are not a time to debate issues, try to solve problems, or come to conclusions.
Each session will take up to two hours. You will share your experiences and responses in a small group of no more than six people. The small groups will collect the experiences and responses as a record of the sharing.
Before you participate in a Listening Circle, we encourage you to read the Participant's Package.
To participate in an in-person Listening Circle, please contact your parish or faith group (Development and Peace, CWL, Knights of Columbus, etc).
To participate in an online Listening Circle, use the link below to register:
We encourage parishes, faith groups, and other communities to host their own Listening Circles. Click on the links below for resources to help you organize and run a Circle:
- The Listening Circle Facilitator's Guide is the place to start
- The Listening Circles Checklist summarizes the steps to take before, during, and after a Circle
- The Listening Circle Presentation can be used by facilitators during a Circle
- The Synod Notes form can be used by notetakers during a Circle
If you have not been able to participate in a Listening Circle, or would like to offer your own personal reflections, you are invited to complete our Listening Church response form.
Or, use the link below to download a PDF version of the form. This can be filled out on your computer, or printed out and completed on paper.
Once you have completed the PDF form, please send it to us by email, or mail it to:
Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria - Synod Committee
1-4044 Nelthorpe Street
Victoria BC V8X 2A1
Read the Address of His Holiness Pope Francis for the Opening of the Synod, or watch the Address below:
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:
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 path toward the 2023 Synod of Bishops.
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 the Synod 2021-2023, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to operate within us so that we may be a community and a people of grace. For the Synod 2021-2023, we will use a simplified version that any group or liturgical assembly 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.