Day 2 , PCNE X: Embracing the Path toward a Synodal Church

JAN 24

Day 2 , PCNE X: Embracing the Path toward a Synodal Church

Synodality: “Let us cross to the other side.”

The second day of the PCNE X (Philippine Conference on New Evangelization) was characterized by a profound journey towards embracing synodality within the Church. The day commenced with a solemn Eucharistic celebration, paying homage to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage of Antipolo. His Eminence, Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod, presided over this meaningful event. Preceding the Mass, the original statue of Our Lady of Antipolo was brought in a procession around the pavilion's assembly area. The Brass band of Antipolo accompanied this procession, playing “Dios te Salve, Maria…”, while the people sang along.

After the mass and a brief break, the participants listened to the Orientation on the Synod Methodology as presented by Dr. Stella Padilla, the lone lay Philippine delegate to the Synod in Rome. In this method, which was used for the first time, she emphasized the value of listening as each one shared and prayed, and silence was described as a “conversation in the Spirit or Spiritual Conversations” which was the way of sharing and listening to one another, in several moments and levels. The arrangement of the hall, where participants were seated around circular tables facilitated this methodology which was punctuated by silence after each round of sharing and listening. The participants prayed and shared as they experienced the Spirit moving and speaking through them, thus Spiritual Conversation.

After this orientation, the whole assembly broke into groups as pre-arranged by the organizers for a simultaneous workshop focused on various aspects of the Church, including Catechesis, Education, Parish and BEC (Basic Ecclesial Communities), Youth, Digital and Social Media, Family, Interreligious Dialogue, and Women, lasting until lunchtime.

Afternoon Sessions: Let Us Cross to the Other Side

In the afternoon, participants delved into Audiam sessions, a practical application of the concepts previously explained. They dispersed to their designated buildings and rooms based on their concurrent workshop groupings. The theme of the session was encapsulated in a prayer ritual titled "Let us cross to the other side," symbolizing a collective movement toward a transformative synodal Church.

Within each group, participants engaged in a prayerful reflection, actively listening and sharing their thoughts. This process resulted in a synthesis of collective discernment, fostering a profound sense of communion and shared purpose among the participants. The day's sessions reached their zenith with a concluding prayer ritual, harmonizing all participants in a shared spiritual journey, even though they were physically situated in different spaces and buildings.