Summary of Synod proceedings in the dioceses

Archdiocese of Lublin

Diocesan synthesis (PDF version below)

16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

Toward a synodal church: communion, participation and mission

Archdiocese of Lublin
Diocesan synthesis

In the Archdiocese of Lublin, the synod on synodality has been integrated into the work of the ongoing Third Synod of the Archdiocese of Lublin. The diocesan consultations made use of previously created parish and decanal synodal teams and thematic commissions: lay, priestly, consecrated persons, liturgical, catechization and evangelization, youth, family, mercy, ecumenical, missionary, cultural and economic. Both laymen and clergy serve on each committee. These teams provide a space for meeting and sharing the experience of being in the Church. The same is true of the members of the Third Synod of the Archdiocese of Lublin: half of its 214 participants are laymen.

At the diocesan stage of the bishops’ synod, a questionnaire was sent to all parish and deanery teams. In addition, the following special meetings were held:

  • With representatives of organizations and communities dealing with the sick and disabled,
  • With representatives of organizations providing assistance to people at risk of social exclusion (2 meetings),
  • With residents of the Support Center for the Homeless in Lublin.
  • In the pastoral care of people in non-sacramental relationships,

A. The meeting with the community of people involved in helping the disabled was attended by representatives of hospices from Lublin and Lubartow, as well as the Faith and Light Movement, the Catholic Association for Assistance to the Disabled Siloe and the Lublin Forum of Disabled People’s Organizations.

They considered the reasons why people with disabilities do not show up at parishes, do not participate in liturgies and services, and how to effectively encourage these people to participate in parish life. It was pointed out that the behavior of people with disabilities in church often deviates from the norm and can cause embarrassment or tension in others. A good solution would be to designate one Sunday Mass in the parish to which the faithful with disabilities would be invited. However, it must not be a “mass for the sick,” rather, the idea is that all the faithful who come to this hour should be informed that they may encounter people behaving unusually: they will, for example, speak in unexpected ways, may stand or walk during the homily, etc. There was also a call for a “silent” Sunday Mass (no bells, organs or loud singing) in each city or deanery, which could be easily attended by people suffering from hearing hypersensitivity associated with, for example, autism or diabetes.

They also discussed the need to promote the idea of volunteering primarily among mature, responsible and formed people. Parishes should inform about and encourage this form of assistance. Hospices and communities with disabilities are waiting. Parishes should also provide information about accessible communities where the disabled and their caregivers will find understanding and support, and where children affected by disabilities will find the company of their peers. It seems necessary to create inter-parish structures that would provide, for example, suitable meeting places for such communities. Among others, the lack of a permanent place has been struggling for a long time. Faith and Light Movement community.

Proper preparation of priests serving as chaplains to the sick and disabled is also extremely important. Such a position cannot be regarded as an adjunct to other, more important tasks, or as a non-committal function for clergy needing, for example, to boost their health or solve other personal problems. Chaplains in hospices or nursing homes should be priests who recognize in themselves a special vocation for this kind of work, and who are also ready to serve the relatives of the sick, the staff of the facilities and volunteers.

It also stressed the need for priests to work well with psychologists where appropriate therapy is needed in addition to prayer and sacramental ministry.

B. In accordance with Pope Francis’ instructions to seek out the excluded and those living on the outskirts of the Church, meetings were held with people staying at the Support Center for the Homeless in Lublin and with representatives of circles organizing help for such people: Volunteer Center, Association of Global Solidarity, Emmaus Movement, Caritas of the Lublin Archdiocese, Brotherhood of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and St. John the Baptist. The company was founded by the St. Brother Albert Foundation and the Catholic Association for Assistance to Needy People Agape.

There was a proposal to hold a series of meetings to get to know each other, share problems and develop a plan for joint action. The second meeting with aid organizations focused on helping war refugees. It was stressed that it is necessary to cooperate, not to show in a spirit of competition who helps more and better. The action plan will facilitate cooperation and the use of resources, and will help to stop food waste, for example. By working with parishes, it will be easier to find a place to hold, for example, some major meeting in a parish hall or garden, and to involve more parishioners in helping to support such events. It is also important to have a good flow of information, because there are not many people willing to help who simply do not know where they can report their willingness, and on the other hand there are organizations where there is a shortage of volunteers.

The need for broad and reliable information on possible forms of assistance and where such assistance can be obtained. This information should also reach the needy through parishes. Pastors visiting parishioners after caroling are the first to come into contact with the needy, learn about their problems and living conditions.

C. The synodal meeting on the pastoral care of people in non-sacramental relationships showed how differently these people are sometimes treated in parish communities. For the vast majority, they go unnoticed, or are seen as a problem. Many pastors don’t know or don’t want to know how many of their parishioners are living in non-sacramental relationships, and not only in remarriages after the breakup of a sacramental marriage, but also in civil marriages without canonical impediments and in cohabitation, sometimes with the intention of getting married in church in the future.

In one parish in our archdiocese, there is a person in a non-sacramental relationship who belongs to the parish pastoral council, although the law does not allow it, while in another, the pastor has forbidden his parishioners to admit that they are a non-sacramental couple, although they have pledged to remain chaste and can receive the sacraments.

Twelve questions were addressed to parish and decanal teams. 161 parishes and 6 deaneries submitted responses. Dozens of individual, anonymous surveys were also submitted via mail or email. Here is an attempt to synthesize the submitted votes by subject criterion.

ACCOMMODATION

  1. What is your experience of walking together in a parish or diocesan community? What are you moving towards? With whom? What are the fruits of this?

The answers are most often “catechismic” in nature: respondents say how things should be, rather than showing how things actually are. Some statements may indicate a misunderstanding of the meaning of the questions posed. Here’s an example:

The most important thing is Jesus Christ. He leads us and we follow Him. Everything we do should flow from His teaching, be clear, legible and unambiguous. So my life, my actions, my choices, my marriage, my attitude toward younger, especially young children, must be like this. Only then can I be real and legible, expressive to others.

Those involved in ministry groups have a greater awareness of the community. For them, the parish is not an anonymous reality. They know the pastors, they have friends in the community, and they can count on their help.

We have the experience of running our small community [neokatechumenalnej] By the Church to a mature faith. When communities from the diocese meet, we have the experience of being in the diocese together.

However, there are also voices in which a note of resentment and disappointment can be heard:

I have the experience of following together in a family community, the Focolari Movement, a Jesuit pastoral ministry and a priest from outside the parish. The parish provides no community in which I could find support. (…) I don’t find a place for myself there.

Respondents quite often emphasize that participation in a small pastoral group is not only about praying together, meditating on Scripture or deepening religious knowledge, but also about mutual care and assistance, visiting sick congregants. People from small communities are also more aware of their material responsibility for the Church, helping with parish ventures and fundraising. They also stress that it was only by attending small group meetings that they were able to overcome their anonymity in parish life.

The time of the pandemic uncovered the innovation of pastoralists. (…) Not only did they take care to maintain sanitary rules, out of concern for the health of parishioners and their own, but they reorganized the pastoral ministry in such a way that ministry could be provided to the widest possible range of parishioners (introduction of additional hours for Mass and services, prayers outside the church premises). A separate problem is the fact of increasing migration of parishioners. A significant group is made up of people renting apartments in the parish. Their relationship to the parish,
in most cases, is negligible. They are here, so to speak, “in passing”, they are not interested in building relationships, neither with the parish nor with the community of residents, with practically no one.

A separate problem is the sense of parishioners’ ties to the diocese. It seems that for The statistical parishioner associates “Church” primarily with the parish. She is the mirror of the Church for many. Parish affairs are a priority. It is comforting, however, that group leaders remember to include the affairs of the diocese and the universal Church in the “prayer plan.” The extent to which the faithful in a parish feel responsible for the diocesan or universal Church is evidenced, for example, by their involvement in synodal work. We do not hide the fact that it was difficult to invite, to recruit people to the parish team. There is also no hiding the fact that the level of commitment to his work is average. There are some people who find it difficult to communicate their thoughts. In some, one notices a “servant” mentality: questions are answered in such a way as to please others, such as pastors. There is a lack of courage in thinking. In others, on the other hand, revolutionary, millenarian and even apocalyptic thinking prevails.

In summary, a parish is a community rooted in the Church. For almost a quarter of a century [jej istnienia] We also defined our local identity. We feel responsible for the fate of our community, we are aware of the challenges ahead and current problems. The goal is salvation, prayer, finding a sense of God’s childhood, strengthening faith, formation, passing faith to the next generation, intercessory prayer, worshipping God in the liturgy, strengthening a sense of connection in the community of the Church. The goal is to have as wide a range of communities as possible, but communities are declining because there is a lack of leaders, so a Church of specialization must be born, a specialized ministry that is open to parishioners and people outside the parish. At the seniors’ club – shaking hands, talking, getting closer to the elderly
and lonely. Our goal remains to build the bond of believers also through the “going out” of pastors to the people, building a family atmosphere during our parish meetings (although this is difficult, because people’s expectations are different, sometimes you can see passivity, lack of response from parishioners, the relationship created by parishioners is official, with distance). We note that the greatest fruit is borne by those forms of activities in which there is integration of the faithful with pastoralists, jointly undertaken and carried out works and tasks. There is joy in the renaissance of liturgical service, personal and community reading of the Word of God (two Bible study groups, there is a copy of the Bible in every pew in the church, the faithful rewrote the entire Scriptures during the pandemic), popularization of the person of the parish’s patron saint (new services in his honor). Many positive fruits come from parish festivals, involvement in charitable outreach, participation in retreats or joint preparation and celebration of the church’s consecration.

  1. Which communities in your parish are growing most rapidly, and which are in crisis? Why is this happening?

Over a dozen years there is no dynamism (…) there is stagnation, lack of interest. One observes a desire for “holy tranquility” – parishioners want it, probably priests too. People experience “personal catholicity” (…) as consumers of worship: it is to be fast, because most have little time, efficient, nice (…), and outside the doors of the church – ordinary life.

Certainly, a pandemic state plays a huge role, when people lock themselves in, fearing for their health and lives. Fewer and fewer people come to church, communities do not meet with each other, it is difficult to organize any action. The state of pandemonium only helped something that started earlier, namely the lack of new people willing to join in joint works. Observing the situation in our parish, it seems that one of the more thriving communities is the Domowy Kościół (Home Church), while the other communities seem to be rolling along “by force of momentum.” Rosary circles, in which the place of deceased members is left empty, are becoming less and less numerous. Why is this happening? Talking to several people and proposing to join in praying the rosary, one usually hears the argument in response: “I pray, but I don’t want to make any commitments”. – implicitly: I will come to church, I will pray in the evening, but I do not want to enter the community, it is enough for me to be a passive element of it.

Communities like the Living Rosary or the Legion of Mary are in crisis. Older members are getting sick, dying, and at the same time there is a lack of new takers. The crisis is also evident in youth communities, especially the Catholic Youth Association. The loss of youth confidence in the Church, lack of dutifulness and parental support are cited as reasons.

The lack of interest in the faith in young people is the fault of parents, but also of pastors who fail to arouse interest in young people. (…) Forcing candidates [przygotowujących się] for confirmation to attend services throughout the year and document it in booklets, has the opposite effect: “disgust” with the church. (…) Also, church music performed by vocal and instrumental “geniuses” only deters from the church.

Among the groups that are growing most dynamically, the Domestic Church and the evangelization and formation community Friends of the Spouse are mentioned quite often.

This is due to the advanced age of the participants, many who have died, the difficulty of attracting new ones, the spread of secularization, and frigidity or religious indifference. In addition, there is a crisis of responsibility, of masculinity. There is a lack of testimonies from participants of communities operating in the parish in spaces accessible to all parishioners, e.g. during services, retreats. Arguably, some forms of piety need a change, because they have become, either too elaborate or unsuited to the mentality and needs of modern people. Perhaps the solution to this situation, the remedy, would be broader information campaigns, videos on the Internet popularizing groups and associations, information in showcases, up-to-date announcements, articles in the parish press or on the website and social networks. A common phenomenon is the participation of the same people in several communities, so that these communities become somehow “similar” to each other in composition, appearing to be closed to others. The meeting formula must also adapt to people’s post-pandemic habits. An important aspect is the openness of parishes, the creation of new communities that meet the needs of contemporaries. Maybe not dynamically, but the academic ministry in the parish is thriving. The decisive factor here is the presence of a pastor who meets with young people, is with them, organizes trips, participates in academic life, celebrates Mass. Sunday for this group. The crisis of the communities lies in the lack of discipline on the part of group participants and priests. It has become accepted that some groups “run themselves,” lacking the systematic presence, availability and accessibility of a pastor. It would be good to create communities from people, for example, after confirmation, maybe something more for them is worth doing, make an effort to make at least some of them find a place for themselves in their parish (involving them in liturgy, inviting them to activities according to their age and abilities). Every young person who identifies with the parish is a precious gift to our community.

  1. What communities or ministry groups are missing in your parish? (This is not to give a specific name, but to specify the nature of such a group and the people to whom it should be addressed.)

Many parishes lack youth groups, and this is due to a lack of volunteers:

It seems that for many young people the Church is not an authority and belonging to some parish community is “passé.”

It was noted that in addition to the old, proven forms of pastoral care, new forms are needed that go beyond the canon of school catechization, such as reaching out to the young through sports, scouting and tourism. In rural parishes, the faithful note a lack of groups for young people and for married couples, while expressing concern about whether there would be takers if such a group were initiated. Young people, if in a parish, often study off-site, returning home only on weekends. Young couples work in nearby cities, and the house in the countryside is just a place to stay. Such people most often identify neither with the parish community nor with the local community in the broader sense.

People don’t want to associate, they don’t want to belong to groups, because that creates obligations.

There is a lack of groups connecting single people and charity groups. Volunteers to care for the lonely and elderly are increasingly needed. There is also a perceived lack of groups for middle-aged, single people or those whose longing for community is not understood by their spouse. Many people emphasize the need not for formal groups and communities, but rather for open Bible meetings for deeper learning and study of the Scriptures.

There is a need for groups for men to help them find their place in the Church, both in terms of a spirituality more in keeping with their nature, and in terms of mission, i.e. those that would provide opportunities for concrete action, especially in the sphere of charity, social solidarity.

The more communities with different profiles, the greater the chance that they will include more people from the parish, and (…) individuals will find in them the right forms of apostolic involvement. One feels the need for prayer, another needs support in the life of his family, another support in the fight against addiction, another seeks a systematic deepening of faith….

LISTENING

  1. How are lay people (especially women, young people, people with disabilities, and those less connected to the Church) heard in your parish community?

Usually, priests are available for duty at the parish office. However, many people emphasize that priests are also ready to listen and talk outside of the designated hours. In some parishes there is the possibility of contact via e-mail, instant messaging or social networks.

No discrimination against women is noted. They belong to parish councils and can speak on all relevant issues. People with disabilities or weaker ties to the Church have the opportunity to talk during a pastoral visit, and if needed, they can also arrange a longer meeting, in a non-restrictive environment.

In our parish, we have the opportunity to speak with specialists, including. with a lawyer or psychologist, there are courses for women, meetings for the disabled.

People who actively participate in parish life are heard whenever they need it. Most often, the initiative to talk to a pastor comes from the laity. Priests are more likely to answer questions than to seek contact with the faithful. People who have a weaker connection to the Church only meet clergymen on pastoral visits.

SPEAKING

  1. What makes it possible or difficult to speak out boldly, honestly and responsibly
    In our community?

Certainly the open attitude of pastoralists is of great importance, an attitude of listening and opening up to the other, finding time to stop and at least show kindness. A pastor who “officiates” during the office hours and has no time outside the office is bad. Such information is passed on, and trust in the pastor diminishes. In such a situation, there is little room for open, honest expression. That leaves only the path of whispered negative information.

A sense of bilateral sincerity between clergy and laity. If that’s there and that’s what you feel, then the conversation is sincere and makes sense. (…) Second: competence – based on knowledge and facts. Third: willingness to cooperate – not “the priest should do it,” but “we will help the priest do it.”.

In large parishes, courage and candor are hampered by anonymity and lack of personal relationships. In small, rural parishes, fear of indiscretion is an obstacle. Even if the rumor spreads without personalities, people will still know who it is about. What helps one to be open to a frank conversation is the kindness and openness of the clergy, while what hinders it is the reluctance on their part to accept critical comments. Many laymen refrain from speaking out because they feel they don’t know the parish or the relationship between the parish and the curia well enough. Opinions about the Church presented in the media also influence the shape of the dialogue.

In a community of people living in non-sacramental unions, we can talk frankly about anything, while in a parish rosary community, you have to be careful what you say so that gossip doesn’t come out of it. (…) In the parish group I belong to for the second year, I don’t know the problems of other people, because simply no one there talks about problems, everything seems to be fine.

DIALOGUE IN CHURCH AND SOCIETY

  1. How are conflicts and difficulties resolved in your community?

The most commonly indicated way to resolve conflicts is simply to talk, of course, with the participation of the pastor or other pastor in charge of the problem group.

This is a difficult and sensitive topic. Most often, we find out about the conflict when it is so big that it cannot be hidden, and it is often too late. First: we try to solve it ourselves, among conflicted people. If this is not possible, we turn – usually one of the parties – to people who can be trusted. Such a person might be, for example, an elderly priest who enjoys authority. When the issue is high-profile, other people join in spontaneously.

Sometimes priests participate as mediators in matters that are not directly related to the parish, but happen within the parish and affect its residents, such as the creation of a safe crossing for pedestrians or the construction of a sidewalk at the blind cooperative.

POWER AND PARTICIPATION

  1. How does the parish community determine the goals to be pursued, the path to achieve them and the steps to be taken? Who sets these goals and who evaluates the fruitfulness of these activities?

The parish implements the diocesan bishop’s instructions. Some targets are identified during bishops’ visitations. Local issues are determined by the pastor, sometimes – but not always – after consultation with the pastoral council.

The first person is the parish priest, who sets certain goals. They concerned important issues for the parish, such as investments for the renovation or heating of the church. Decisions are made with the knowledge of the pastoral council. Lower down, i.e. in parish groups, decisions are made by those leading them. Most depends on their activity and ingenuity. Sometimes it is felt that the lack of initiatives is due to a certain misunderstanding: the priests are waiting for a signal from the laity, and the laity are convinced that the first step belongs to the clergy.

In ministry groups, the goals are usually defined by the leaders or collectively by all members of the group. They are then evaluated and approved by the clergy. In general, spiritual goals are determined by the pastor, while material goals are determined by the pastor in consultation with the pastoral council. There are parishes in the archdiocese implementing the New Image of the Parish program under the Movement for a Better World, where the process of discernment of goals and their implementation involves the laity to a much greater extent:

The goal is set by the renewal program within the movement and the annual pastoral plan of the Church in Poland. The parish coordination team creates an annual program and indicates what goal we want to achieve, who is to do it, how and when. After each event, which is another part of the program, there is an evaluation: what succeeded, what failed, what lessons for the future.

  1. How does the Pastoral Council function in the parish?

Council meetings are usually held several times a year, or on an ad hoc basis when something urgent needs to be discussed. There are parishes where the council is a real help to the parish priest and realistically represents the parishioners as a whole, but attention is also drawn to the growing difficulties in identifying candidates, as there is a shortage of people, especially younger ones, willing to commit to serving the parish community. They already consist mainly of seniors. Many laymen express concern about the future of the institution. In parishes where the pastoral council functions well, councilors are usually involved in other forms of assistance as well, such as organizing pastoral visits, physically working to maintain order around the church, conducting fundraisers and distributing wafers. However, the council does not always do its job properly:

I once attended a council meeting as a representative of the “Friends of the Bride” community at the end of 2021. The council did not have a working character or an agenda, it ended without a conclusion, and we did not address such big topics as how to attract people after the epidemic….

It seems that the way council elections are conducted should be reformed. The need to arouse greater awareness among the faithful for its work so that the council does not go only to those who, for various reasons, are associated with the parish anyway. In addition to the presence of those involved in parish life, it would be useful to have “outsiders,” so to speak, whose presence would objectivize planning and help in the evaluation of activities already implemented.

DISCERNMENT AND DECISION-MAKING

  1. In your parish, what is the relationship between consultation and decision-making (administrative, economic, pastoral), and how is this implemented in practice?

Pastoral decisions are made by pastors, but in many cases they are open to suggestions or requests from parishioners. Economic decisions are usually consulted with the pastoral council and to it the pastor reports on their implementation, especially when it comes to difficult or unusual ventures.

The transparency mechanism is created, among other things. Through the pastor’s consultation with the pastoral council, as well as the work of the accountant, who prepares the financial report each year [duża parafia miejska].

Many also point out that in such matters pastors seek the advice of the bishop or other experienced priests. An opportunity to consult widely on some project with the general parishioners is, of course, a pastoral visit.

In our small parish, consultation and decision-making (acceptance, correction or rejection) sometimes takes place in church, during announcements, with the participation of all present, in the manner of a general meeting.

  1. What procedures and tools are in place in the parish to promote transparency and reviewability of decisions made?

Parish council meetings, the minutes of which are taken, and decisions made at the meeting are communicated to the entire community in the form of announcements. In many parishes, accounts and detailed valuations of investments are presented to the pastoral council. The planned activities and their costs are usually presented during Sunday pastoral announcements or in the parish newspaper. At the end of the year, many parish priests stop to report to parishioners on the spiritual and material situation of the parish.

When a parish decided on a large loan, council members had to give their approval with their signature. It is clear that control is exercised by the curia and every five years the economic condition is reviewed.

Parish councillors can ask for insight into ongoing pastoral and material work in the parish. Receive an annual report on the work undertaken jointly in the calendar year.

FORMATION FOR SYNODALITY

  1. What are the strengths of pastoral care in your parish/community, in the archdiocese?

Pastoral care for the liturgy, daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in a growing number of parishes, the presence of a confessor in the confessional also on weekdays, or systematic meetings to prepare the faithful for the sacraments (baptism, first communion, confirmation, marriage) were pointed out as strengths of pastoral care.

Laypeople appreciate the daily availability of a pastor in the parish office, as well as the constant composition of the pastoral team over a long period of time, which gives a sense of stability and enables the creation of pastoral strategies.

Internet broadcasting of the Sunday liturgy has become a valuable aid for many of the faithful, especially those trapped at home during epidemics, to stay connected to the parish community, and should be maintained for the sake of those who are unable to attend Mass regularly due to illness or old age. However, there was also a warning voice in this regard:

The huge number of masses broadcast by the media, even those hostile to the Church, encourages people to stay at home and discourages participation in the liturgy. All broadcasting – online, television, radio – destroys the participation of the faithful in worship services and formation groups. I think this problem is often overlooked by priests and bishops.

The faithful belonging to the parishes that made the effort to build the new temple emphasize that the joint effort integrates the community very much and stimulates responsibility for the Church both spiritually and materially.

Many parishes make sure that everyone can enter the church: ramps are built for wheelchairs and baby carriages, there are places where mothers can feed or change their baby.

The strength of the archdiocese, according to many respondents, is a lively Marian cult, developing especially in the diocesan shrines in Wąwolnica and Chełm, as well as in Lublin, around the images of Our Lady of Weeping and Our Lady of Latyczów. Pilgrimage to these places and the celebrations held there undoubtedly influence the development of a living faith, as well as the integration of the diocesan community.

Another strength is the commitment to traditional piety and the cultivation of ancient customs or forms of pastoral care, which goes hand in hand with a willing acceptance of new expressions of faith, such as the increasingly widely practiced Extreme Way of the Cross and worship concerts.

  1. What are the weaknesses ofPastoral care in your parish, community, diocese?

Respondents cite the so-called “”The most important thing in the world. The lack of time in both parishioners and pastoralists, the aging of the population and the extinction of many parishes, and especially the absence in pastoral ministry of those aged 30-55.

While there is a common goal – Jesus – it is difficult to talk about solidarity, mutual support and, above all, commitment to any common mission or work. Everyone – including me – lives his life (…). This is influenced by the urban lifestyle: the fast pace, the amount of work and responsibilities, as well as the size of the parish community, confinement, individualism, otherwise also the superficiality of the spiritual life – the attitude to seek constantly new proposals for development, but without concrete fruits in the form of deeds (“eternal disciple”). With the diocesan community, I don’t feel a strong connection. Communication on this line is quite poor.

You can see the disproportionate efforts for the youth, who are sometimes a handful compared to the [niewielkim] support for families, single parents. The infantilization of First Communion celebrations, where what should be the setting takes center stage and shows the Church as something infantile and fair, instead of showing the beauty of the liturgy and Jesus as the center.

There is an apparent lack of catechesis for adults, introducing them to an understanding of the Bible and Church teaching, and there is a desire for such formation.

It is also noted that there is a lack of formation of lay leaders of the communities, which causes the group to fall into crisis or disintegrate when a priest associated with the group leaves the parish and his successor is unable or unwilling to commit equally to the work that has been started.

For many years I supported my students in the KSM community, where they strengthened their spiritual maturity and undertook external activities (such as volunteering, theater circle, formation trips). The fruits of this are two priestly vocations, the presence of several people in the parish choir. Unfortunately, a few years ago, under the previous pastor, the community ceased its activities in our parish.

The weak side is the average involvement of the faithful. It is also necessary to prepare young priests for zealous involvement in pastoral life, not social life.

Purely technical difficulties, such as an unheated church, a lack of a suitable room for meetings, a lack of parking or the hassle of getting to the church from remote villages, are also a nagging problem. Some parishes have not yet taken care of a properly maintained website, which today has become an essential interface for contact and information exchange.

From there, attention is also drawn to the insufficient contact between bishops and the faithful, which, for example, during a canonical visitation is limited to a formal meeting with the pastoral council and a narrow representation of parish groups, almost always under the watchful eye of the pastor.

Very little or no trust in the laity was also cited as a weakness in our pastoral ministry. The prevailing conviction is that the priest knows everything, has to deal with everything personally, and decide everything.

The perception of communities in our parish is poor. Pastors do not invite people to join them, one of the vicars is weakly involved as a guardian of the community, and the parish priest does not seem to care about any of them. There is also no forum for communities to work together in the parish, although they should be considered as potential tools for evangelization. The proclamation of the Gospel in the parish is closed within the walls of the church, where fewer and fewer people come, and the street is given over to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Protestants.

On top of that, there is a lot of anonymity, especially in urban parishes. People don’t know each other, and in addition, not everyone goes to Mass at the parish church, choosing other places where they think there is better decor, atmosphere, preacher, organist.

The diocesan consultation stage is an experience of the joy of meeting, establishing relationships and searching for good solutions together. This time became an opportunity not only to better understand the Church community, but also to cooperate and exchange good experiences

Edited by Dr. Beata Boguszewska, Rev. Joseph Maciag

Diocesan synthesis in PDF version

Diocesan synthesis – Archdiocese of Lublin

Summaries of the synodal process in other dioceses, parishes and the perspective of participants in synodal meetings

Diecezja Gliwicka

Diecezja Gliwicka

Diecezja gliwicka obchodzi w tym roku 30. rocznicę istnienia (bulla Jana Pawła II Totus Tuus Poloniae populus – 25 marca 1992). Diecezjalny etap drogi synodalnej jest okazją do słuchania i dialogu na poziomie lokalnym – diecezjalnym. Zgodnie z Vademecum synteza jest aktem rozeznania i wkładem w następny etap procesu synodalnego: „W tym sensie synteza nie tylko informuje o wspólnych tendencjach i punktach zbieżnych, ale także uwypukla te punkty, które trafiają w sedno, inspirują oryginalny punkt widzenia lub otwierają nowy horyzont”.

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Parafia pw Opatrzności Bożej w Jaworzu

Jaworzańska synodalność, czyli sensus fidelium (zmysł wiary) w praktyce
W marcu br. zakończył się parafialny etap prac w ramach drogi synodalnej. W trakcie bardzo krótkiego czasu odbyło się w naszej parafii łącznie 6 spotkań, podczas których przedmiotem refleksji były następujące zagadnienia synodalne: „Dialog w Kościele i społeczeństwie”, „Słuchanie”, „Formowanie się w synodalności”, „Zabieranie głosu”, „Towarzysze podróży”, „Rozeznawanie i podejmowanie decyzji” oraz „Współodpowiedzialni”. W spotkaniach ogólnych, do udziału w których zaproszeni zostali wszyscy parafianie, uczestniczyli również przedstawiciele poszczególnych wspólnot parafialnych. W wyniku wspólnych rozważań zagadnień synodalnych zrodziły się następujące marzenia i pragnienia podążania przez Kościół drogą autentycznego wzrastania w wierze:

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Dokąd podążasz moja parafio? Refleksja po spotkaniach synodalnych

O synodzie pierwszy raz usłyszałem w październiku ubiegłego roku i już wtedy, nie do końca świadomy o co w nim jeszcze chodzi, wziąłem udział w spotkaniach synodalnych organizowanych w ramach spotkań liderów grup ruchu Mężczyźni św. Józefa. Niedługo potem, zostałem poproszony o organizację takich spotkań przez ks. Proboszcza własnej parafii. Organizacja spotkań wymusiła głębsze poznanie tematu i odkrycie tego, jak bardzo rozpoczęty synod jest potrzebny Kościołowi.

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Synodalne konsultacje – doświadczenie nieoczekiwane

Kiedy po raz pierwszy usłyszałem, że papież Franciszek zamierza przeprowadzić w całym Kościele szerokie konsultacje przed synodem, który ma odbyć się w 2023 roku, miałem ambiwalentne uczucia. Z jednej strony radość, że papież dojrzał taką potrzebę, a jak wynikało z opublikowanych dokumentów, domaga się przeprowadzenia takich konsultacji wszędzie i to bardzo szeroko, zapraszając potencjalnie każdego. Z drugiej strony nieufność, że organizujące spotkania duchowieństwo zrobi wszystko, aby nic dobrego z tego nie wyszło. Te obawy mam zresztą nadal i czas pokaże, czy są nieuzasadnione. Nie o tym jednak chciałem pisać. Zaskakująco dla mnie samego coś innego wydarzyło się we mnie w trakcie samego procesu.

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