Jessica Wilkinson from the Diocesan Synodal Team reports on the start of our Diocesan Listening Project 2021-22, which complements Pope Francis’ path towards the 2023 Synod of Bishops in Rome:
Over seventy people from across the Diocese of Leeds met together at Hinsley Hall on Saturday 16 October for the first of two training days. Bishop Marcus joined us for the day and we were delighted to have Fr Adrian Porter SJ and Vron Smith from the Jesuit Spirituality Team with us who led an inspiring and informative day.
Fr Adrian began by giving us some information about the Synod, its purpose and why this is such an exciting time in the life of the Church, sharing Pope Francis’ words ‘Synodality enables the entire People of God to walk forward together, listening to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, to participate in the mission of the Church in the communion that Christ establishes between us.’ Vron led us in more practical aspects of the process, examples of listening in scripture and how we can listen to the Holy Spirit and each other. The day was concluded by a session about leading discerning prayer.
One volunteer wrote ‘I attended today’s first training session as a participant and thought it was absolutely excellent. The welcome we received, the general organisation, the quality of the speakers and the subject matter covered were all outstanding. I felt inspired at the end; it has put any fears I had about the process to rest.’
Another wrote ‘I have found it both challenging and exciting, exhilarating and demanding!’ Another; ‘I have found the content of the day excellent, giving me much to think and pray about and I look forward to the session next week.’