Message from the Pastor
In a recent essay, the theologian Fr. Ron Rolheiser spoke of the contemporary need for people to believe in a greater story, that is to say a “metanarrative” so that we may be able to understand our life’s challenges and problems within a larger context — indeed within a mystery. And from this mystery comes meaning. For Christian believers, the mystery of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (the Paschal Mystery) offer many meanings.
I find Fr. Rolheiser’s insight helpful as I work with our Parish Pastoral Council in preparing for Holy Trinity’s participation in the Synod. In a real sense, the Synod is an attempt to offer a larger story, a metanarrative for the Church, locally and globally. Through listening and dialogue a shared story becomes possible, a large narrative takes place. This narrative is not one so much informed and influenced by the narrative of public or social media, but the media of our lived experiences of the Gospel, of our faith.
As you may recall Pope Francis launched this two year process on October 10, and the following week Cardinal Gregory formally initiated synodal processes here in the Archdiocese of Washington. This past week Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio, told the prelates at a meeting of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops: “I believe that synodality is an answer to the challenges of our time and to the confrontation, which is threatening to divide this country, and which also has its echoes in the Church.”
Over the next several months there will be opportunities to participate in this listening and to sharing of the stories. Indeed, if you like, you can participate today by responding to a brief Synod survey available on the Archdiocese’ website via this link: adw.org/2021-2023-synod-surveyfor-individuals.
Below is a time table for the Synod which our parish deacon, Deacon Charles Huber, compiled.
• October 2021 to February 2022: Parish Listening Sessions
• March 2022 to June 2022: dioceses and archdioceses have their listening sessions (Parishes send two members to the diocesan listening sessions)
• June to August 2022: National Bishops’ Conferences receive 10- page diocesan reports (This would be all the USA dioceses sending their reports in to the USCCB)
• September 2022 to March 2023: National Bishops’ Conferences meet regionally by continent to discuss their reports
• October 2023: International discussion in Rome of the regional reports at the Synod of Bishops
The challenge will be how best we can engage active parishioners and disaffiliated ones in this important listening and sharing process. There is a lot at stake, nothing less than continuing our belief in the met a narrative of the Paschal Mystery, the meaning of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus in our own lives and in our times.