As I write this message, there is a very important gathering taking place in Rome, which is called a “Synod”. Pope Francis called this meeting of the representatives of the Catholic world to discuss the topic “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment”. The meeting began on 3 October and will conclude on 28 October.
I don’t think the secular media are very interested in reporting this gathering…
However, from the Catholic point of view, this Synod (which occurs every three years) could have significant outcomes for the future of the Catholic faith in Australia and in the world.
The Synod participants will draft a series of recommendations which will be handed over to the Pope, who will appoint a small Committee to help him write a Statement with some final proposals to be implemented in schools, parishes and other agencies of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church in Australia will consider the implementation of the Pope’s document from the Synod at a “Plenary” gathering in 2020. Archbishop Tim Costelloe of Perth (a past pupil of Salesian College Chadstone) has already been appointed as the Chairperson for the Plenary gathering.
Salesian College Chadstone is a faith community of the Catholic Church, and as a youth community must be aware of what happens in society in general, and in the Catholic Church in particular, that affects the education of young people.
In the past few years there has been a lot of discussion and commentary in the media about FUNDING for Catholic education. That issue seems to have reached some final resolution (the practical outcome is guaranteed funding for all Catholic schools for the foreseeable future).
Now I see in the media another hot issue – that of religious freedom.
Synod, Plenary, Funding, Religious Freedom … we simply cannot remain ignorant or unconcerned about these issues. We cannot leave the discussion and the decisions to politicians, or to Bishops, or to teachers…
Parents have a primary responsibility to be informed and to be involved – especially when it comes to matters of the education of young people!
And there are plenty of reliable sources of information, one needs to spend some time to seek information, and if necessary, to challenge decision makers.
I hope and pray that we all take seriously our responsibility to be constructive builders in our Church and in our society.
Fr Frank Bertagnolli SDB
NB – You can google “Synod 2018” and “Plenary 2020” for information, or click HERE.