Synod - Let Us Act
Let Us Act!
|Let Us Act Booklet
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A synod is a process whereby the bishop calls together both priests, religious and lay people to discuss the vision of the Archdiocese. Started in 1998 by Archbishop Adam Exner, OMI, and completed in 2006 by Archbishop Raymond Roussin, SM, the Synod was an eight year process that produced the following 50 recommendations which are being implemented by the Archdiocese:
- Encourage pastors to delegate more of their administrative duties to the laity to allow priests a greater opportunity to be spiritual leaders and teachers.
- Promote the ongoing spiritual formation and education of our teachers in Catholic faith and culture
- Mandate the Office of Religious Education to develop an adult faith formation strategy for parishes that provides vision, methods, program resources, and options.
- Assist parents in their role as the primary educators of their children by providing parenting guidelines consistent with the archdiocesan curriculum model of teaching the Faith, with instruction for parents and sponsors at the time of Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion, and Confirmation.
- Encourage Catholic high schools to introduce and develop parish ministry skills and encourage their students to participate in these ministries in their home parishes.
- Extend the Parish Religious Education Program (PREP to Grade 12).
- Make liturgical formation of parish communities a priority, training leaders in liturgy and catechesis.
- Preserve and expand Catholic presence in health care facilities and other institutions as an opportunity for evangelization.
- Renew the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission, expanding it to include clergy, religious, laity, and youth. Ensure participation and consultation with persons having liturgical expertise.
- Encourage and support the establishment and development of a Catholic university.
- Institute a support group for priests.
- Establish a visioning committee of young adults, clergy, and religious representing the various regions of the Archdiocese to assess strategies for young adult ministry.
- Initiate a marriage enrichment program for couples married one to three years.
- Develop a formation program to train lay spiritual leaders to lead Scripture studies, work-shops on prayer, and peer spiritual direction.
- Expand the scope of Catholic Charities to include the entire social apostolate (e.g., social justice issues, human rights advocacy, and corporal and spiritual works of mercy).
- Provide funding and training to assist women who have had abortions through programs like “Project Rachel” and “Rachel’s Vineyard”.
- Teach methods and practical skills for evangelization projects, recognizing cultural and social diversity.
- Establish an Office and Vicar for Evangelization.
- Promote the virtue-based perspective in moral education.
- Use programs such as “Return to the Spirit” to promote forgiveness and healing for those wounded by family and/or Church personnel.
- Develop an archdiocesan plan to help Catholic schools meet budgetary challenges, such as a Catholic foundation to raise and disburse funds.
- Utilize resources in our schools that represent Catholic history and Catholic culture.
- Develop in the Office of Religious Education an effective means of assessing religious education programs, also providing for feedback from parents.
- Recruit natural family planning teachers in each parish to counsel couples before and after marriage in managing their fertility in accordance with Humanae Vitae through natural family planning methods.
- Promote and coordinate deanery-based devotions, spiritual events, and activities (e.g., speakers, days of recollection, perpetual adoration, public processions, candlelight walks, cultural celebrations).
- Sponsor evangelization events in different deaneries in order to promote and publicize Catholic values.
- Ensure regular catechesis about the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.
- Support efforts to establish a Catholic teachers’ college.
- Celebrate communal penitential services followed by individual confessions more frequently at the deanery and parish level.
- Encourage all parishes to establish perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
- Incorporate the Liturgy of the Hours into parish life.
- Support Catholic public school teachers by establishing an archdiocesan association.
- Initiate a richer dialogue and sharing with First Nations people at the parish, deanery, and archdiocesan level, in cooperation with the First Nations Council of the Archdiocese.
- Adopt a “time, talent, and treasure” stewardship program.
- Provide Bible study at parish level with babysitting service available.
- Develop a parish pastoral plan that includes all special needs groups. Appoint a coordinator or a coordinating committee in each parish with the mandate to build community by connecting with and addressing the needs of specific groups.
- Implement the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese.
- Encourage collaboration and partnerships between parishes, the Catholic Health Association of B.C. and other healthcare organizations.
- Establish an archdiocesan body to promote, sustain, and offer resources for prayer.
- Increase financial support in parishes to the Parish Religious Education Program (PREP), with a salaried PREP Coordinator.
- Begin each of the archdiocesan Marriage Preparations sessions with a scriptural prayer service.
- Establish an archdiocesan Media Relations Office distinct from The B.C. Catholic.
- Establish parish spiritual life committees.
- Provide an archdiocesan parish registration form that is simple, brief, and respectful of privacy. The form should request information about special interests and talents.
- Promote discussion by deaneries and the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission to develop further guidelines for the practice of Baptism in parishes.
- Develop diocesan media outreach similar to EWTN radio, television, and Internet.
- Distribute a booklet from the Archbishop to the newly confirmed calling them to evangelize.
- Establish a working group of Catholics and interest parties in other Christian communities to discuss the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia.
- Reinstitute the parish census.
- Every Easter for five years, mail all registered parishioners a copy of a magisterial document on evangelization, along with a letter from the Archbishop urging all the faithful to actively evangelize.