1. A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.” How is this journeying together happening today in your local Church?
There are many who feel fulfilled by journeying together in the parish life through activities, community involvement, educational opportunities, communal prayers, beautiful liturgies and music, adoration, preaching, outreach, and volunteer opportunities.
Others feel that we are not journeying together. They feel confused, isolated, that there are too many changes, and not enough communication. Also the lack of catechesis in the larger Church has led to confusion and division in the Church with regards to fundamental teachings, such as understanding the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, different expressions of reverence for the Eucharist, and misunderstanding of Vatican II changes.
2. What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?
The Holy Spirit invites us to live a more contemplative life through heartfelt and constant prayer, through the Holy Mass, through the Sacraments and adoration, and through the devotional life.
The Holy Spirit also invites us to learn true obedience, docility, and fidelity to the teachings of Christ and His body the Church, through increased education and catechesis.
The Holy Spirit is also inviting us to show reverence to one another through increased hospitality, listening, acceptance and mutual prayer.
While these opportunities are available in our church, the Holy Spirit invites all to grow individually in their life with Christ, and He invites our parish to always be striving as a whole for more.
3. What should we do to improve our parish?
We need to be more welcoming, to institute greeters, to promote hospitality and to be more intentional about inviting others, both internally and externally, to participate, and to increase community outreach.
We need to provide more tools for evangelization, and more educational opportunities.
We need to provide more clarity through communication, explanation, education, and follow up.
We need to place more focus on the youth and young families, through youth group, more Teams of Our Lady, more educational opportunities, and through highlighting catholic education in our school.
We need to increase parishioner engagement through ministries, intentional discipleship (volunteerism), and community outreach.
We need to grow and develop in our identity in Christ.
4. What is the Holy Spirit saying to our Church today?
The Holy Spirit is saying to the Church that Jesus is ALIVE today, just as He was when He walked the earth. He shows He is alive through the Spirit working in us, His disciples. Though there are challenges, He is with us. He will never leave us.
He is also saying to humbly embrace true tradition and the teachings that we have in the Church.
The Holy Spirit is saying that He is in the beauty. When we seek Him, we will find Him.
He is encouraging us to seek to be united in heart and mind as the first disciples were.
He is asking us to open our eyes and hearts to recognize Jesus in others and to serve Jesus through service of others.