Rajshahi diocese in Bangladesh held a seminar on Synod at Christo Jyoti (light of Christ) Pastoral Center from June 15 to16.
The theme was "Formation of Local Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.”
Over 230 participants including Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi, vicar general Father Emmanuel K. Rozario, 46 priests, 40 nuns, 1 religious Brother, Suklesh George Costa, regional director of Caritas Rajshahi and a representative from each parish attended the program.
"It is a trend and nature of a church to walk together. The basic tenets of the church are rooted in the Trinity God,” said Father Rozario.
The basic mystery of walking together lies in the second story of the creation of man, as told in the Holy Bible. To walk in the way of Jesus means to ‘walk with Jesus—the way, the truth, and the life,’ he said.
‘Communion’ is a sign of well-being on the way together, he added.
According to him, in the process of moving together, 'participation' is growth and in the process of moving together, 'transmission' is dynamism.
In his inaugural address, Bishop Rozario said, "We discuss in this seminar how we can make our villages self-sufficient. We have received the gift of faith (Christianity) and help through foreign missionaries in the past. Now, it is time for us to continue the pastoral work ourselves with our resources.”
Bangladesh is now a middle-income country and will be a developed country in 2041, according to some experts.
Receiving funds from overseas has decreased over the years and the church in Bangladesh has to achieve self-sufficiency to build the church, said the bishop.
There are 10 important aspects to do following the synod preparation journey—walking together, listening, talking, celebrating, sharing of responsibilities, dialogue, inter-territorial unity, authority and participation, determining or choosing by agreement (Discernment) and synodal journey.
In the seminar, Father Dilip S. Costa explained the idea of the synod. He discussed what the Church is, in the context of Synod 2023, its aims and objectives, the direction of action and participation.
Costa also explained some ways for making the synod fruitful and mission responsibilities.
"In the local Church participation and togetherness are important. I am happy to join this seminar. I realized that the church can hear the opinions of people and together determine the will of the Holy Spirit and make the right decision to walk the path together,” said one of the participants Gabriel Hasda.
Another participant, Prinka Gomes said, "Diocesan Synodal process for clergy, religious and lay people, with bishops claiming the consultations will help local churches become truly participatory.”
Bangladesh Rajshahi diocese realizes that the Synodal process will have a significant impact on building up a unified Church and working together.
The diocese hopes to raise awareness among Catholics on how they can journey together in the process. - Nikhil Gomes
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