‘Journeying Together’ as the pilgrim people of God:

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Bishop opens diocesan phase of synodal process

The following is the text of the homily given by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades at the Mass opening the diocesan phase of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

At this Mass, here in the mother church of our diocese, we begin the diocesan phase of the 2023 Synod of Bishops on the theme: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission. Synodality is an integral part of the very nature of the Church. I imagine that most of you, when you hear the word “synod,” you think of a synod of bishops. One of the fruits of the Second Vatican Council was the Synod of Bishops. There have been a number of Synods of Bishops since the Council, including the last Synod in 2018 on young people, faith and vocational discernment.

The Church has become increasingly aware that synodality is the path for the entire people of God. It’s a journeying together of all the faithful since all the baptized, both the hierarchy and the laity, are called to be active participants in the saving mission of the Church. There are a diversity of gifts and charisms among all the faithful for the renewal and building up of the Church. All of us have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation.

Pope Francis has invited the whole Church to reflect on this theme of synodality, the theme of the next World Synod of Bishops. He has asked Catholics throughout the world to be part of th