The Catholic Diocese of Damongo in the Savannah Region held it’s 2022 Diocesan Pastoral Council meeting at the Damongo Unity Centre under the theme; “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”
The meeting started on Thursday, 27th October, 2022 with the arrival and registration of participants and the formation of committees including the liturgy, welfare, secretariat among others and climaxed on Saturday, 29th October, 2022.
In a welcome address before the meeting, the Bishop of Damongo Diocese, Most Rev. Peter Paul Y. Angkyier expressed gratitude to God for his providence and for bringing them together to deliberate on important matters affecting their Diocesan mission.
He explained that, the Assembly is one of the very significant moments in the life of the Diocese in respect of discerning their Mission as a local church through which light the Bishop expressed his joy and pleasure to the participants for making it to this year’s Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting.
Most Rev. Peter Paul Y. Angkyier also explained that, a little over a year ago, Pope Francis convened the church in a Synod and by which he initiated a Synodal process which had the Diocesan face and was celebrated in all Dioceses across the globe under it’s first phase which begun in October 2021 to April,2022.
“In calling a Synod, Pope Francis invited the church to reflect on the concept of the church as people of God, which was proposed by the Second Vatican Council for the renewal of the church. According to Pope Francis, the renewal proposed by Vatican II in defining Church as people of God is a call to a common journey together which is both a gift and a task and by reflecting together on the journey that has been made so far, the diverse members of the church will be able to learn from one another’s experiences and perspectives guided by the Holy Spirit” the Bishop said.
He added that, being enlightened by the Word of God and united in prayer, they will be able to discern the processes to seek God’s will and pursue the pathways to which God called them towards deeper communion , fuller participation and greater openness to fulfilling their mission in the world.
In line with the synodal process, the Bishop stressed that the entire people of God shares a common dignity and vocation through Baptism and are called by virtue of their Baptism so as to be actively involved in the life of the church.
He noted that in the parishes, small Christian communities, lay movements, religious communities, and other forms of communion women and men, young people and the elderly are all invited to listen to one another in order to hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit which comes to guide their human efforts, breathing life and vitality into the church and leading them into deeper communion for their mission in the world.
He also explained that, the Synodal process requires them to learn and exercise the art of personal and communal discernment which enables them to listen to each other, to their faith tradition and to the signs of the times in order to discern what God is saying to all of them.
He urged the participants to stick to the two goals in the Synodal process which requires them to listen to God, so that with him they may hear the cry of his people and to also listen to his people until they are in harmony with the will to which God calls them.
Key words of the theme:
Communion: God gathers us together as diverse people of one faith. The communion we share finds its deepest roots in the love and unity of the Trinity. Together, we are inspired by listening to the word of God. In this church we all have a role to play in discerning and living out God’s call for his people.
Participation: a call for the involvement of all who belong to the people of God – laity, consecrated and ordained – engaged in the exercise of deep and respectful listening to one another. This listening makes space for us to hear the Holy Spirit together, and guides our aspirations for the church in our time. Participation is based on the fact that all the faithful are qualified and are called to serve one another through the gifts they have each received from the Holy Spirit. In a synodal church the whole community, in the free and rich diverse of its members are called together to pray, listen, analyse, dialogue, discern and offer advice on making pastoral decisions which correspond as closely as positive to God’s will. We must make genuine efforts to include those at the margins or who feel excluded.
Mission: the church exists to evangelize. We can never be centered on ourselves. Our mission is to witness to the love of God in the midst of the whole human family.
In the spirit of synodality, Most Rev. Peter Paul Y. Angkyier expressed hope that the assembly of the delegates to the Diocesan Pastoral Council Meeting would seek to engage them in a meaningful dialogue in order to come up with relevant and practical pastoral suggestions that can enrich their mission of evangelization and also urged them to take advantage of that moment of grace to enrich one another with their presence and actively participate in the matters to be deliberated upon.
Source: Padfm.com.gh/Kumatey Gorden/0243531604