Fall Synod: A Reflection

From October the first to the fifth 2008 the Reformed Catholic Church held its Fall Synod in Columbus Ohio. It was a wonderous affair that truly was spiritually enlightening for those who made the effort to attend. An international affair there were clergy form Ireland, Africa and myself from Australia and all the clergy from across the United States. Synod was a busy time of learning and sharing, joy and pain and many wonderful opportunities for all to share in the Eucharistic Mysteries that lie at the heart of our Church.

Six new bishops (of which I was one) and one archbishop were consecrated and four men took up the challenge of the diaconate. But most of all what stood out for me and still does was watching the people of the RCC in action. Both the clergy and the laity moved with one heart and one voice, and at the core of this unity was and is ‘Servant Leadership’. This theme underscores all that the RCC does and is particularly apparent amongst its leadership, no airs and graces here rather a practical attitude of living the Gospel message and the willingness to take that message right where it is needed.

During my time in Columbus I saw archbishops, bishops, priests, religious and laity on the streets ministering to the poor, the sick, the hungry, the forgotten. In fact they would be embarrassed in me mentioning this fact for they seek no kudos for their work. But it is experiencing this practical side of ministry that heightens the whole experience of Synod and gives a true insight into the mission of the RCC worldwide. As Archbishop Zimmerman often says: “To really understand the RCC, one has to experience Synod”. And what an experience it proved to be, I invite all interested to come to the next Synod: For All are Welcome in this Place.

+Ian

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