RE: THE START OF THE JOURNEY TOWARDS THE 2023 ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS (SYNOD)
Dear brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Tokyo:
RE: THE START OF THE JOURNEY TOWARDS THE
2023 ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS (SYNOD)
Greetings of peace!
Pope Francis has decided to hold the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (Synod) in the fall of 2023, with the theme “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.”
The Holy Father hopes that this synod will be a realization of the Church living out concretely the process of “journeying together,” which is what the new way of synodality actually means. His Holiness has emphasized that this synod will not merely be a meeting of bishops acting as representatives in Rome on October 2023. But rather, the Pope has called upon all dioceses around the world to spend time together to discern, and to bring together everyone constituting the people of God to join in the process.
The start of this synodal process has already been announced through the Papal Mass on October 10. However, the Holy Father has instructed at the same time all dioceses around the world to celebrate the start of their respective journey to the synod on Sunday, October 17.
In the Tokyo Archdiocese, we shall start the synodal process with the 10 o’clock mass officiated by the Archbishop on Sunday, October 17 at the Catholic Sekiguchi Church. Please join us in prayer as you celebrate the Sunday masses in your respective parishes, asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit upon our synodal journey.
In order to facilitate the implementation of this synodal process, I have appointed Fr. Hiroshi Konishi, OFM (Franciscan) to be the diocesan contact person who has already started coordinating the preparations. This journey is not about holding special events nor about holding meetings that make decisions through majority vote. The main focus is on the journey to conversion of a community where all members of the people of God affirm their common understanding of faith, deepen communion, and proclaim the Good News. This is also a journey that leads us to the concretization of the Directives on Evangelization and Pastoral Care of the Archdiocese of Tokyo. For the period until February next year, we will continue to provide various materials to help us walk together in this journey in the Archdiocese, and to discern as one. Even after the process, until the end of the meeting in Rome in 2023, we will continue to provide relevant information from time to time in the homepage of the Archdiocese and the Archdiocesan News.
Let us all be one, and let us take this journey of communion and participation together.
Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD
Archbishop of Tokyo
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