"Times have changed and unfortunately the Church seems isolated and deserted..." Often we use this phrase now abused, in reality we do not realize how real and serious is what is happening and how deep is the gap that, after the pandemic, separates even more the church from the people and the civil community.
Pope Francis' courageous choices encourage us to begin some reflection together with the parish priests and other pastoral workers.
Let us start from the new experience of the SYNOD, which the Pope has proposed to us in a completely new form: no longer a consultation of the Bishops alone, but a study, a serious and wide-ranging reflection on the basis of all the people of God, convoked at the Synod.
If we think about it, the responsibility we share is exciting, entirely new.
The "SYNOD" structure was introduced by the enlightened Pope Paul VI into the episcopal college. The word itself: "Synod" is an ancient word linked to the Tradition of the Church, composed of the preposition "with", and the noun "way" indicates the journey made together by the People of God. Believers are companions in the journey, called to witness and proclaim the Word of God.
On the basis of all this, the Holy Father, looking at the primitive community of Jerusalem, invited all the people of God to come together in listening and making discernment in the Spirit.
The reform wanted by Pope Francis is divided into several phases: The first phase will involve the local Churches and will last until April 2022: it will be the «consultation of the people of God». The second phase is continental and will take the cues emerged from the local churches. The last phase is the meeting of the bishops with the Pope in October 2023 in the Vatican.
What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow as a Synodal Church?
To seek an answer, the Diocese of Rome has prepared papers for a path of synodal discernment based on the Beatitudes, at every ecclesial level, to be realized in each reality.
Our religious communities are also called, as part of the local church, to live the synodality. Our Superior General, with specific communication, urged us to take a special part as consecrated women and has invited us to reflect and to question ourselves on the theme of synodality, which is decisive for the Church, for her life and mission.
We therefore expect a synodal work in which "we are called first of all to pray to the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds, allowing Him to enlighten us and welcome his Creativity, as the Father wants".
Our parish priest, Brother Mario Fucà gave us a tangible sign of something that wants to change, asking to meet the whole community. He came with his confrere, Brother Enzo, and he literally opened his state of mind in this special time of the Synod, which for him means engaging more in listening, in meetings. He reflected on the precious presence of consecrated life in his territory and urged attention to that privileged presence of ours which, if for reasons of age, can no longer be in activity, can nevertheless rediscover its true place in the Christian community which is: the prayerful presence, the listening and the witness of the absolute of God in our lives. He encouraged the sisters to be present especially in the circumstances of community prayer such as Eucharistic Adoration and Sunday Mass, to be with the people, to pray with them and to be witnesses.
The community was very attentive to these proposals of the parish priest and immediately responded positively. We are aware of entering into a movement that will have its labours, but we do so in the awareness that it is in the prophecy of consecrated life and in the manifold richness of its charisms, to walk together in the church, to rejoice, scrutinize, contemplate, proclaim, welcoming diversity and living in proximity.
Community of Centocelle-Rome