Synodal Path

Pope Francis March 2016

In 2021 Pope Francis invited all baptised Christians to gather and take part in a spiritual consultation of the whole Church. The title of this consultation is - For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission

The Holy Father invited the whole Church to engage in a process of discernment under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to feed into the Synod of Bishops that will take place in Rome in 2024. It involved everyone in the Church – clergy, religious, and lay Catholics, all participating according to the gifts and charisms of their vocation. 

The word ‘Synod’, put simply, means ‘Journeying together’ and the process of becoming/being a synodal church involves us coming together, to listen and share with each other, and alongside/through this listening, discern what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do as a Church.

How can we be a synodal Church in mission?

The worldwide Synod 2021-2024, initiated by Pope Francis, continues this year inviting all the baptised to participate. ‘After a month of work, in October 2023, the Lord is now calling us to return to our Churches to hand over to all of you the fruits of our work and to continue the journey together.’ Rome Synthesis report.

The synthesis report can be found here.

The synod website with more information:

A New Phase Begins: Continuing our journeying together to grow as a synodal Church, all are invited to listen and share, in a synodal way, discovering concrete ways we can be a synodal church in Mission.

We gathered on 29 February at St Teresa's Hall and on 2 March 2024 at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral to pray and discern. If you would like more information about the Synod email or contact Mike Stopforth 027 539 8542.

The Synodal Process

Synthesis Documents

First session of the XVI General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops 

Bishops, priests and lay men and women Synod delegates gathered in Rome for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. From New Zealand Archbishop Paul Martin attended along with Manuel Beazley who is the Vicar for Maori for the Auckland Diocese and Fr Denis Nacorda from the Wellington Diocese. The Instrumentum Laboris document guided discussions during the Assembly. It's based on input from discussions worldwide and outlines three key priorities related to the experience, communion, participation, and mission of a synodal Church.

The Assembly released a Synthesis Report of the First Session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, "A Synodal Church on Mission." This "is not a final document but an instrument in the service of ongoing discernment." It will serve as a guide for the second session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops scheduled for October 2024. We are all invited to continue to pray and reflect with this synthesis report.

Released: October 2023

Download "A Synodal Church on Mission"

The Oceania Bishop's Conference Discernment

Representatives of the four Catholic bishops’ conferences in Oceania have approved the region’s final response to the Continental Stage working document published last October for the Synod of Bishops for a Synodal Church.

That group, which met for five days in January 2023, synthesised reports from the four bishops’ conferences and the Eastern Catholic Churches in Oceania responding to the Working Document for the Continental Stage, Enlarge the Space of Your Tent.

The Oceania response and the other continental documents will inform the preparation of the working document, or Instrumentum laboris, for the first of two sessions of the XVI General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023. The second session is scheduled for October 2024.

Released: April 2023

Download the FCBCO Response

The New Zealand Bishops Conference Discernment

Aotearoa New Zealand held a national hui in Wellington in July 2022. The outcomes of the hui, plus the six diocesan syntheses produced after parish discussions, formed the source material for the National Synthesis sent to the Synod Office last August. 

The New Zealand synthesis was one of the 112 national syntheses submitted by the 114 bishops' conferences around the world, along with 1040 submissions from religious institutes, lay movements and other groups.

Released: January 2023

Download the NZCBC Discernment

The Christchurch Diocesan Synthesis

The Diocesan Synthesis document culminates nine months of praying, listening, reflecting, sharing and providing feedback for this synod process in the Christchurch Diocese.

There were over 600 submissions from individuals and groups and we acknowledge the significant efforts people have made in taking the time to reflect on their journey of faith.

The synthesis has endeavoured to capture the sentiments of all this material.

Released: June 2022

Download the Christchurch Diocesan Synthesis

Working Documents

Synod News & Events