14 Jun The Bombay Synod: Rooted in Christ, Led by the Spirit
Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Bombay Synod was held on the 3rd and 4th of June at Bombay Seminary. I was privileged to take part in this synod representing the Handmaids. It was truly a “grace-filled” event, as each one of us articulated our dream for the Church, the painful aspects and the struggles, and more importantly, our response to these challenges.
The two hundred delegates included 22 Religious, 26 youth, 34 lay women, 37 laymen, 50 priests, and 3 Bishops from across the length and breadth of the Archdiocese. Delegates included people from different ethnic and language groups (Marathi, Konkani, English, Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam) in the archdiocese, as well as migrants, domestic workers, and even special children with their parents – all under one “tent” pouring out their hearts in a spirit of mutual understanding and acceptance. They shared with joy what they loved about their Church and their faith, as well as what pained them, with a respectful frankness. The goal was to discern how we could move ‘our’ Church towards ‘Being Church’ according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The sessions and interactive dynamics were masterfully conducted by a team of professional facilitators and moderators. “Open mind, Open Heart, and Open will” was the three-pronged approach adopted to help each one of us suspend the voice of judgment, feel for those at the margins of the situation, and let go of our fears in order to be that better self that each of us is called to be. In the listening circles, we discerned together how we could bring transformation in our attitudes as well as how we could move forward as a community in a spirit of collaboration and inclusiveness.
I was very much impressed with the participation and reflection of the young people at the Synod. There was a lot of enthusiasm, and they really challenged the Church with their doubts, dreams, and pain.
I could feel the resonances of the GCXXI in all the discussions and interventions of the synod. I felt so happy that as Handmaids we have already begun this process of journeying together with the Church.
Truly it was a powerful Pentecostal experience for the Archdiocese of Bombay.
Bindu Michael, aci