Summary of the Synod's progress in the dioceses

Synthesis of Synodal work in par. St. Jadwiga Śląska.

REPORT ON THE PROGRESS OF SYNODAL WORK IN THE PARISH OF ST. ¶W. JADWIGA ŚLĄSKA IN WROCLAW – LEŚNICY

Four synodal meetings were held in the parish (5.11.2021, 11.12.2021, 15.01.2022, 20.02.2022). A synthesis from these meetings is posted below.

  1. TRAVEL COMPANIONS
  • The Church must notice seekers in order to accompany them.
  • The accompanying church is mainly a parish church. The basic way to accompany is to form small groups. Building a community of communities.
  • Lack of space to talk to newcomers who would like to talk , make friends, socially at first (e.g. cafe after Mass on Sunday). Newcomers often go unnoticed in the parish by both priests and laity. They don’t know when or where they can come and talk. No opportunity to talk to priests. They don’t wait for the faithful (like the brothers in Taize, for example).
  • Barriers to access to Church people. Removal of barriers necessary in accompaniment.
    1. To priests (intercoms, presence in church only for liturgies)
    2. To hierarchs and functionaries in the Curia – an unknown or very long access path
    3. To the laity – no time or space for casual conversation
    4. Church language incomprehensible to outsiders (homilies, announcements, pastoral letters)
    5. Difficult access to church communities (e.g., the Domestic Church).
    6. People’s fear of contact
    7. Treatment of the parish as a service point by parishioners and often by presbyters
  • Accompanying the excluded, people on the margins, the homeless, the lonely sick – parish volunteers, ministers with Holy Communion – just to be with them at least for a while.
  • Testimony – for anyone to allow accompaniment at all, they must have confidence in the people of the Church. Therefore, the testimony of love is crucial (Who ARE these Christians that they love each other so much?).
  • We church people do not have the ability to accompany . Need to learn techniques and gain experience.
  • Priests should be spiritual companions, and the other accompaniments necessary in the parish should be taken over by laymen. Including tasks related to administration
    and finance.
  1. LISTENING
  • Active listening can never be judgmental, and it is good to smuggle in the good
    and God’s grace, which we have experienced. Jesus teaches this best in his encounters with people (Samaritan woman, Nicodemus, etc.).
  • Problem with listening to people with different views. This causes conflicts
    and antagonisms and the formation of closed tribes, attacking each other.
  • For many years, the Bishops did not listen to the laity who spoke about the sins of the Church. They did not disclose them. Hence the loss of trust in the institution, which often closes people internally to Christ himself and prevents them from listening.
  • To hear we have to be at the right time, in the right place. Where it is and says: youth, minorities, the excluded, people on the periphery, etc.
  • Conceptual difference. We need to learn a different language in the Church. A language that outsiders can understand. Less theological. Because otherwise it will create an insurmountable barrier to listening.
  • Professional media communication is important. High quality in this area can contribute to better outreach to seekers, who will open up and share their problems, because we will trigger their interest.
  1. SPEAKING
  • You can see the problem is that, for the most part, bishops and priests are disconnected from reality and what the faithful live on a daily basis. Contact between the faithful and the bishop is very difficult and even often impossible, this is also transferred to the attitude of not all, but a large part of the pastors who have contact with their faithful only during caroling or in the parish office, where they often feel not at home
    and are treated in an official manner. Shepherds of the Church should be with their sheep and , “smell them.
  • And the obvious question arises, if the faithful are to speak up then how, when the reality of the lay faithful and the clergy faithful are often two completely separate and non-interpenetrating worlds. And you are unlikely to see a place where the lay faithful have a voice in Church affairs. And yet we are one Church
  • A very important thing in terms of speaking up is to lay faithful who already have evangelization formation have not been afraid and able to speak out in the environments in which they live, by bearing witness to what the true Church is, their faith and by the example of their Christian life, they knew how to bring people who are doubters or non-believers back to the Church and faith in Christ.
  • The clergy, starting with church authorities, do not understand the media, preferring to resent them rather than use them as a space for evangelization. It is incomprehensible that a priest must seek permission from his superior to stand in front of a t.v. camera. It’s incomprehensible that it’s so rare in the so-called “new” world. liberal media appear by bishops or priests, and those who choose to do so are denied a voice through bans. So how do we want to reach non-believers when we give up being in places where they are.
  • When lay faithful practicing the sacraments see a problem in the matter of speaking out, what are they to say to people whose lives have turned out differently, are in non-sacramental or homosexual relationships, and yet are believers, they want to be in the Church, to have a role in it and a heard voice. There should be ministries for these people, they should have their place in the Church, and here is the great responsibility of the Church authorities, who should begin to notice these people and give them the opportunity to authentically live out their faith in Jesus in the bosom of the Church.
  • The Synod is not there to preserve the current reality in the Church. We believe that the Holy Spirit, working in Pope Francis and the whole Church, will bring about the necessary changes, because, after all, we must convert every day
    and discern reality in the spirit of faith and the Gospel. We also believe that the Holy Spirit will cause that from the vast number of conclusions from all over the world, we will be able to extract what is most important for the good of the Church.
  1. CELEBRATING
  • Facilitates celebration – liturgy that is constant, repeatable
  • The beauty of the liturgy, the singing, the setting
  • Repetition can be disturbing if we do not know the content, meaning, essence of the
  • Celebration of the Word of God should take place not only at Mass
  • Celebration affects the quality of our faith, it can either attract us, inspire us or repel us
  • Emerging phenomenon of churching – inspired by various motives, e.g.: in search of beauty, satisfying curiosity about what it is like elsewhere
  • Community makes it easier to experience the liturgy – when I see the same faces we walk together. Building ties, real friendships to stop being anonymous feel like family.
  • My life according to God’s word has an impact on the celebration. If I don’t make daily decisions based on God’s Word it is difficult for me to celebrate it during the liturgy.
  • Make space to take up ministries, but take up ministries
  • Train those undertaking ministries
  • When I come to the Eucharist and know the Word it is easier for me to experience spiritually deeper, to listen.
  • Word and Eucharist are unity
  • Important in the celebration are the circumstances, the nationality, the reading of the Word
  • It is worth using the pulpit
  • Need to explain, educate, use comments
  • Celebration should be understandable, “digestible”, appealing, consistent
  1. SHARED RESPONSIBILITY IN OUR COMMON MISSION
  • Shared responsibility in the mission is a very good idea.
  • People are leaving the Church, but we want them to come back.
  • The Church should be involved in the creation of valuable and full of Catholic content computer games, books, movies for children, so that parents can thus transmit Christian values to the younger generation.
  • The standard should be for children to take First Communion at the age of seven.
  • There should be competitions in the church, for example, drawing competitions for children with prizes.
  • A community-building element would be the faith testimonies of people given after Mass.
  • It would be good for bishops to be actively involved in parish life.
  • Organizing catechesis for adults and conferences on the Scriptures.
  • There is currently a lack of commentary before Mass on the importance of postures, gestures, signs during the Eucharist.
  • The church should be a community where I can “recharge my batteries” in order to bear personal witness to Jesus in my environment and everywhere else.
  • Eliminate the division between “we” and “you” between clergy and laity (addressing each other by name).
  • Transparency of the actions of the Church (bishops, priests).
  • Encourage people to read the readings at Mass.
  • Distribution of valuable records in the church.
  1. DIALOGUE IN CHURCH AND SOCIETY
  • Dialogue requires opening up, entering into a deeper conversation. There is a barrier to entering into dialogue here, as most people end up talking about superficial matters. Staying at this level of contact is easier. No effort required. A type of this kind of shallow contact is social media.
  • Space and time for dialogue are necessary in the parish. In our parish we need to create such a space for those who go to Church on Sundays. For example, after the 11:00 am Mass, a tea party meeting for those who wish to attend. This is handled by various parish communities according to a predetermined garfiku.
  • What is needed is the availability of priests in the parish as potential spiritual directors or simply willing to listen to spiritual dilemmas.
  • The need for interfaith dialogue. Cities like Wroclaw can be an example of the interfaith dialogue that is needed. Such a dialogue requires patience and humility and openness on each side.
  • The Church in Poland has too little dialogue with society. Similarly, in many parishes, the world of clergy and laity is completely separated. Clergymen allow the laity too little in the dialogue about the parish.
  • In dialogue it is important to be silent, to listen, even if we do not understand or accept the other person’s message. Perhaps then such a dialogue is also suffering for us. Then deep faith and patience are very important.
  1. DISCERNMENT AND DECISION-MAKING
  • We need a space in the parish to discern the Lord’s will, that is, to listen to what the Holy Spirit wants from us in terms of plans for the parish.
  • We said that at least once a year, and preferably twice, there could be a meeting dedicated to recognizing the Lord’s will for the next season (year) for the parish.
  • Such a meeting could be attended by leaders/representatives of various parish groups. For example: the House on the Rock community, family circle, choir, Bible circle, ALPHA organizers, parish council, … And, of course, priests and nuns.
  • For example, a meeting could look like this (this is such a proposal based on our experience from the Lion of Judah community):
    1. We take a moment to adore the Lord and call on the Holy Spirit;
    2. Everyone says what their thoughts/desires/plans/wishes are;
    3. We give ourselves time to pray – everyone prays alone, listening to the Lord, asking Him for a Word;
    4. Once again, we share what we see for the parish for the next season in light of what we have heard as the Word from the Lord for our parish;
    5. We hope that we come to some common conclusions, which the Pastor collects and, in light of the knowledge of what is and is possible, makes a decision.

WRAP-UP MEETING

  • Rev. Marius declared to prepare by 6.03.2022 a working text of a summary of the content developed during the synodal meetings in the parish. Then there will be a week for any comments, after which the final version will be sent to the Curia.
  • Dorota Inglot and Piotr Czudżak gave a brief report on the meetings of parish councils held at the invitation of Fr. Archbishop Joseph Kupny. They included encouragement from the bishop himself for synodal activity. It was hoped that the synodal meetings would be a leaven of new activity in the parishes. Our parish looked active compared to the others (conclusion from sharing the status of synodal work in parishes).
  • Then there was a summary sharing of the meeting participants. Here are their votes:
    1. Concerning the organization of synodal meetings
      1. Absence during synod meetings of inactive people
        In the Church- a weak point- for this reason few difficult questions;
      2. synod an opportunity to look at ourselves as creators of change in the parish;
  • the difficulty of the issues proposed by the Pope. Need for additional clarification (helpful in the person of Bishop Siemieniewski);
  • The great value of free speech about the Church and the parish.
  • Concerning the content discussed
    1. Misunderstanding by the laity and often priests of the subject of the community of the Church;
    2. Synod a call to evangelize those outside the Church;
  • Lack of listening space in the Church – one of the reasons why laymen do not want to talk about their problems with the Church;
  1. Priests should be concerned with spirituality and not with parish administration;
  2. The Church is currently calling for dealing with the “periphery” and not enough active believers;
  3. Synod a call to be active where you live;
  • A call to action of the Holy Spirit in local communities
    and in the Universal Church;
  • The Synod is our way in the image of Christ. Everyone on this journey has a place, everyone is called to preach the Word of God;
  1. Gratitude for participation and the opportunity to talk;
  2. Participants expressed hope that through the synodal path, the content discussed will find its way into the debate in the Universal Church;
  3. Synod a huge incentive to be active in the Church, especially local.
  1. Concerning applications for parishes
    1. It is worthwhile to continue synod-like meetings, to continue talking, including in old and possibly newly formed parish groups with a certain frequency, for example, 2-3 times a year;
    2. For the improvement of the parish and the participation of the lay faithful, it is necessary to form small groups in the parish to pray, meditate on the Word and discuss the affairs of the Church (the goal is 1,000 small groups);
  • Creating a space in the parish to talk and listen to the willing (e.g., after one Sunday Eucharist, a tea party with priests and active faithful – e.g., from the parish council);
  • Monitoring synodal work in the diocese, the episcopate and the Vatican – information for the faithful.

[Source:
http://lesnica.wroclaw.pl/2022/03/19/synteza-prac-synodalnych-w-par-sw-jadwigi-sl/
]