Greetings in the name of the Lord from the Franciscan Friars of Our Lady of Consolation Province!
St. Francis of Assisi wanted himself and all friars to unite with the Roman Pontiff of the Catholic Church. Following in that same spirit, we friars also wish to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit as articulated in the writings and reflections of Pope Francis. Pope Francis invites the whole Church in every diocese to enter into “synodality.”
What is “synodality?” In this newsletter, the friars hope to shine a light on the topic of the process of the Synod that Pope Francis invites us to participate. Friar Martin Day (Provincial Minister) shares that “synodality” is not something new but flows from the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) that we, the Church, respond “to the signs of the times in the light of faith.”
What is a Synod? Friar Bob Moynihan shares that the process of a synod is what Franciscans do when we come together to discern where the Holy Spirit is leading the friars. Our mission flows out of our fraternal gatherings, “plant dreams, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another.”
Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv, shares that coming together for prayer, listening, discerning the “prompting of the Holy Spirit,” discerning what God calls us to do and how to walk towards the future together. And Friar Bob Showers shares that the laity must make real the Church in any given place and time. The heart of the vision of the Church is a living synod: it is the work of the laity to make real the Church in space and time.
We friars will continue to remember you, our dear friends, and companions, in our daily prayers and devotions.
May God bless you and fill you with the Peace of our Lord!
Sincerely in Christ, St. Francis, and St. Anthony,
Fr. John Elmer OFM Conv.