“Doing synodality” among the highlights of the “Diocesan Week” on synodality in Rumbek, South Sudan


According to the Vatican, the preparatory document is “a tool to facilitate the first phase of listening to and consulting the people of God in the particular Churches” for the diocesan phase of the Synod.

One of the objectives of the Synod on Synodality, according to the preparatory document, is to encourage a participatory and inclusive process that offers everyone, especially those who, for various reasons, find themselves on the margins, the possibility of express and be heard in order to contribute to the edification of the people of God.

In the August 5 interview with ACI Africa, Bishop Carlassare recalled the orientation they had “on synodality as it has been proposed by the universal Church” during which documents related to the preparation of the next synod were studied.

During these sessions, the Italian-born bishop who has ministered in South Sudan since 2005 said, the participants “worked in groups to answer the questionnaire proposed by the church.”

Participants in the Diocesan Synodality Week sought “to understand where we stand as the Rumbek church within the universal church,” he said, adding that the deliberations aimed to establish “a common journey of faith and ministry in a changing and challenging world”.

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“We looked at the reality of the Diocese of Rumbek,” he continued, recalling the sessions of July 28, and added: “Some commissions reported on the work done over the past year and the challenges that we still have to deal with it.”

The participants in the Diocesan Week on Synodality made “numerous proposals” concerning “creating synodality” in the diocese of Rumbek, Bishop Carlassare, whose episcopal ordination was to be postponed to 2022 after he was attacked and shot in both legs said.

To move forward, four committees have been created “with specific tasks”, he said, referring to the pastoral, liturgical and catechetical commission (PALICA), the commissionyouth committeethe Catholic Education Commissionand the mantraining committee.

Some of the participants in the Diocesan Synodality Week from July 25-30 in Rumbek Diocese, South Sudan. Credit: courtesy photo

While the PALICA committee will facilitate the generation and realization of “new pastoral initiatives in collaboration with parishes and other pastoral premises (such as) sharing materials, ideas and studying ways to promote our pastoral activities,” said the bishop, the members of the youth committee have the task of generating “a program for young people with initiatives that will encourage participation and real growth in the faith”.

The Catholic Education Committee shall “strengthen the Catholic identity of our schools, foster holistic formation, extracurricular activities for spiritual formation, help train CRE teachers, give them Catholic formation…(and) support the office of education,” Bishop Carlassare said.

As for the human formation committee, the members will have the task of carrying out initiatives to “accompany and take care of the human formation of our seminarians, clergy and religious missionaries, and lay pastoral agents,” the 44-year-old bishop told AFP. ACI Africa.

“We approved the statutes of the Presbyteral Council, we elected the members and gave the mandate”, he continued recalling the activities of July 29, and added: “In the afternoon, the Presbyteral Council proposed the names for the college of consultors. The committees, the presbyteral council and the college of consultors are all means to assume synodality and make it real.

The South Sudan Diocese is planning a Diocesan Pastoral Assembly in February 2023 which will see the gathering of representatives from the 16 parishes of the diocese and diocesan coordination departments and offices.

ACI Africa staff

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