Pics and report by: Fr Anil Ivan Fernandes, CCC
MANGLAORE, OCT 21: As the first phase of Pope Francis’ “Synod on Synodality” begins at the diocesan levels, the Diocese of Mangalore organised a study session on the Synodal process, coinciding with the golden jubilee celebration of Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC) at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, Urwa on Thursday, October 21, 2021 here in Mangalore.
Very Rev. Fr John Baptist Saldanha, parish priest of Bejai spoke on the Synod on Synodality: A New Way of Being a Church. Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop of Mangalore presented the different nuances of Synodality. Advocate Mr M. P Noronha, ex-secretary, DPC spoke on the challenges in the process of synod. Dr John D’Silva, secretary, DPC moderated the discussions and dialogue at the end of the workshop.
The study session was organised in order to commence the process of “walking together” at the individual parish level. Hence, all the parish priests, parish vice-presidents, diocesan clergy, religious heads of all men and women congregations and all the members of DPC were present for the same.
Accordingly, “the consultation and discussion in the parishes and institutions will be held during November and December,'' said Very Rev. Fr Joseph Martis, diocesan contact person for the synod. A printed guide book on synodal process was handed over to all the participants in which the questionnaire for the consultation and discussions was given.
The half a study session on synodality was concluded with the Holy Eucharistic Mass marking the opening of the 50th anniversary of DPC. The council is an organisation consisting of laity, religious, deacons and priests assisting the bishop in his pastoral work in the diocese. This council was formed in the diocese in 1971 after the new waves paved by the Vatican Council II opening the participation of lay faithful in the church matters.
“In the last 50 years DPC in the Mangalore diocese has produced lay leaders in the church resulting in a participative church at the local level. We remain grateful to God for walking with us and guiding us with His Holy Spirit” said the Bishop in his closing remarks.
Msgr Very Rev. Maxim L. Noronha welcomed the gathering. Fr Joseph Martis rendered the vote of thanks. Sr Cecilia Mendonca BS, provincial, Bethany and the team led the prayer. Mrs Jean Lavina Monteiro compered the programme.