Where are we now and where are are we headed on our Synod Journey?
July 13, 2015
The Synod Journey towards April 2016 has reached a critical juncture. The journey is following the broad map of Theological Reflection. This is a means of reflecting on our faith which allows it to touch our lives and indeed, our lives to be touched by faith. It believes that our everyday experience provides an agenda for our faith and that our faith has something to say to the everyday. Essentially it begins with ordinary everyday life and brings this into conversation with the Good News of the Gospel. This methodology is well tried and tested in Ireland as it forms the basis for Lectio Divina, Clinical Pastoral Education etc. However it is the adaptation of this method by the Belgian priest Joseph Cardijn and his pattern of See, Judge and Act (which inspired the Young Christian Workers movement) that gives us the clearest guide on our way.
We are now coming to the end of the ‘See’ stage in which Listening has occurred to gather the issues of the people as expressed by the people. The delegates have been actively engaged in a variety of methods of listening in their own communities. Parishes, schools, hospitals, universities and many other groups have used questionnaires, focus groups, informal listening and various other means to gather the views of people throughout the diocese.
We are now entering the ‘Judge’ stage which involves discernment to identify what God is calling us to address from the issues raised. Its central decisive moment is the selection of themes for the Synod. A team of ‘analysts’ has been assembled and they will combine Christian discernment, ethnography and data analysis in determining the themes emerging from the Synod listening. These analysts were trained by means of a workshop held on June 20th. This was a ‘fishbowl’ in which an inner circle of ‘experts’ from different disciplines held a conversation around analysing the data generated in the ‘See’ stage, surrounded by an outer circle – comprising those who would be conducting the analysis. This has given us some guiding principles on how to undertake the task of coding which will enable us to proceed in a manner that is truly ‘synodal’ – true to the rigours of data research but in a way that is consistent with Christian discernment. The next step will be to present the codes to the delegates in early Autumn and provide them with the opportunity, through a process of discernment, to determine the themes which will be brought forward to the Synod in April 2016.
Why is Limerick holding
a Diocesan Synod?
A Question of Faith travelled to Limerick to hear about the Diocesan Synod that will be held in Limerick in April 2016.
Click here to view the video.