Of Synods, Synodality and Synods of Synodality

Beacons of Light

Continue to pray for Beacons of Light. The first phase of Beacons, the initial naming of parish families, input and final groupings went wonderfully. The next phase is the reassignment of priest personnel. Clearly, this stage will involve a key resource of the archdiocese, our priests, a shortage of which is the primary reason for Beacons of Light.

As I have alluded to in past bulletin articles, this phase will involve the cross of Jesus more directly. There will be a number of priests that will sent to different parishes without any direct input/consultation/contact.  That will be “ouchy” to say the least!

Future phases of Beacons are shrouded in mystery, as archdiocesan leadership is telling pastors and parishes to hang tight, trust and pray. I suppose that is essentially what Jesus told the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane! Let’s do that…and look to Jesus and the Spirit who helps us make changes, sacrifice and adapt, promising an ultimately glorious future!

Synod on Synodality

My spellcheck says the word “synodality” doesn’t exist! However, as Catholics we know that we have a vocabulary all our own, helping to describe dimensions of the mystical body of Christ, the Church! The following was taken from the archdiocese of Cincinnati website and is an introduction to the Synod on Synodality and background for a meeting to be held at St. Albert on February 10, at 7PM, to which all parishioners are invited.

After that, please see an article about some great stewardship at Incarnation Church, written by our parish Engagement Coordinator, Debbie Field.

Sincerely and with Love in Christ,

Fr. Pat

Synod on Synodality

Simply put, a synod is a meeting or assembly of church leaders. In the West, “synod” and “council” are synonymous, and Ecumenical Councils are the most authoritative expressions of formal synodal gatherings, always in communion with and under the authority of the Pope.

In 1965, Pope St. Paul VI established the Synod of Bishops as a permanent institution of the Catholic Church, setting the stage for the renewed understanding of synodality being emphasized and explored today. What is “synodality” and “synodal?”

“Synodality” is best understood as the process by which synods make decisions. It is a way of helping the Church to achieve its mission by the collaborative input of its members. Not just the Pope or Bishops or priests, but ALL the people of God. What is “synodal?”

A synodal approach involves hearing from all the baptized in discerning the will of God on how to best accomplish the mission of the Church. This includes all Catholics, regardless of how engaged they are in the faith, as well as non-Catholic Christians, the young, the old, the disabled, the poor, migrants and immigrants, women, religious, the laity and the clergy. Synodality calls us all to journey together, to gather in assembly. All are invited to listen to one another in order to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

The Synod on Synodality is a two year process of praying, listening, dialoguing, and discerning which will culminate in the celebration of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023. Every diocese in the world will participate.


Good News of Good Stewardship

Recently, members of our parish staff talked again of stewardship. While we are joyful about the number of people our stewardship weeks and cards engage in parish life, the recent staff conversation was about acts of stewardship from our Social Outreach Commission.

Did you know that through our Social Outreach Commission our parish is a supporter of many community organizations? Allow me to speak of two of them.

Good Shepherd Ministries is a glimmer of hope and support to those who have struggled and continue to struggle with addiction. Those who seek help deserve every chance to overcome the cycle of addiction and begin a new life. As a result of the good work in reaching out with both hands, Incarnation has given $5,000 recently in supporting their efforts to love thy neighbor.  Support includes helping find employment, housing, and long-term solutions, as well as spiritual guidance for their clients. Addiction is not an individual wound, but one which affects one’s entire family. We continue to pray for their success in responding to those who have fallen victim to the disease of addiction and wish God’s grace upon them.

The second organization touched by the giving efforts of our parishioners is Franciscan Ministries. They, also support the most vulnerable in need of help either as a result of poverty, addiction or those who have experienced a profound disadvantage during this last year or two of COVID. Basic needs, such as getting a haircut, providing for hygiene needs, or a place to lay their head at night are all part of the support provided by the Franciscan Ministries.  Incarnation supported them with a generous donation of $4,000, for which they expressed their sincere gratitude to all the parishioners of Incarnation.

These are just two of approximately 30 organizations through which Incarnation extends both hands and jumps in with both feet throughout the year to help those in our community. May those served by these two organizations, and the many others, be blessed by Jesus who watches over all of us and the support extended by our Parish, and by Jesus, who watches over all of us. Thanks to members of our Social Outreach Commission for their marvelous ministry!

Sincerely in Christ,

Debbie Field

Engagement Coordinator