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Synod coming

Goal is to 'listen to needs of the faithful,' revitalize Church's witness to faith, hope

Father Chanel Jeanty, archdiocesan chancellor for canonical affairs, shows the congregation and priests the scroll proclaiming the start of an archdiocesan synod, the second in the history of the Miami archdiocese.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Father Chanel Jeanty, archdiocesan chancellor for canonical affairs, shows the congregation and priests the scroll proclaiming the start of an archdiocesan synod, the second in the history of the Miami archdiocese.

A deacon brings up the the oil of chrism which is used in confirmations and ordinations.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

A deacon brings up the the oil of chrism which is used in confirmations and ordinations.

MIAMI — The more than 400 Catholic school students who attended this year’s chrism Mass witnessed a historic event: Archbishop Thomas Wenski convoked the second general synod in the archdiocese’s 54-year history.

After the archbishop announced the synod in his homily, Father Chanel Jeanty, archdiocesan chancellor, unfurled the scroll and read out loud the proclamation convoking the synod. It stated that the goal of the synod is to find ways for Catholics in South Florida to “live into the future as Disciples of faith, Missionaries of hope.”

The chrism Mass, usually celebrated the Tuesday of Holy Week, is when the priests of a diocese renew their ordination promises. It is also when the bishop of a diocese blesses the holy oils that will be used in parishes throughout the rest of the year: oil of chrism for confirmations and ordinations; oil of catechumens, for baptisms; and oil of the sick, for anointing those who are ill.

This year, as usual, St. Mary Cathedral was filled to capacity with more than 300 priests, more than 400 students from 10 archdiocesan elementary schools and two high schools, and religious and laity from throughout South Florida.

A deacon brings up the the oil of catechumens which is used in baptisms.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

A deacon brings up the the oil of catechumens which is used in baptisms.

In his homily, Archbishop Wenski explained that the synod “is a process and an instrument to assist me in my task of pastoral governance. It will be specifically designed to help me and the priests of this diocese understand the needs of those whom we serve. We will listen to the needs of the faithful, and at the same time, we will be prepared to act on those needs.”

The first archdiocesan synod took place between 1985 and 1988, and was convoked by Miami’s second archbishop, Edward McCarthy. That synod began with a “listening process” in every parish and also included a scientific survey that for the first time painted a statistical portrait of South Florida’s Catholic population.

Archbishop Wenski’s synod will take less time but begin as well with information-gathering sessions.

“Through the synod process,” the archbishop said, “all the Catholic people of the Archdiocese of Miami, its priests, its deacons, its religious and its laity, will have the opportunity to recommend to me as your shepherd a course of action so that together as disciples in faith and missionaries of hope we might meet the challenges of a new evangelization in this local Church.”

A deacon brings up the the oil of the sick.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

A deacon brings up the the oil of the sick.

Archbishop Wenski pointed out that synods date back to the earliest times of the Catholic Church. The first synod in the United States was called for by Archbishop John Carroll of Baltimore in 1790, to deal with issues such as marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics, the proper disposition of parish funds, priestly vocations and the religious education of children.

The archbishop noted that those are still issues that are being dealt with in the Church today. Diocesan synods do not deal with doctrinal issues — what the Church teaches — but rather how a local Church can better proclaim, understand and practice those teachings.

This second archdiocesan synod is expected to last a year. In the coming months, Archbishop Wenski will issue guidelines for its implementation. Those guidelines are sure to revolve around one central theme. As stated in the proclamation:

“Let us listen to the Holy Spirit; and let us listen to the Spirit speaking in each other. Let us discern in this year ahead how we as individuals, and as a community, encounter Christ, yesterday, today and forever. And, let us proclaim this future as Disciples of faith and Missionaries of hope.”

During the chrism Mass, priests marking their anniversaries of ordination also were honored. Those doing so this year are:

DIAMOND JUBILARIANS — 60 YEARS
• Msgr. Emilio Martín
• Pedro Luis Pérez
• Msgr. Emilio Vallina
• Father José García
• Father José Paz
• Father Leonard Puisis

GOLDEN JUBILARIANS – 50 YEARS
• Fathers Sean Mulcahy
• Father Ignacio Blasco
• Father Jose Luis Paniagua
• Father Jose Luis Hernando
• Father Charles Clements
• Father Jairo Tellez
• Father Real Nadeau
• Father Gerard Hafner
• Father Paul Bolton
• Father Juan Lopez
• Father Yves Jocelyn  
• Msgr. Jim Suchocki

SILVER JUBILARIANS — 25 YEARS
• Father Tom Honold
• Father John Cox, Oblates of Mary Immaculate
• Father Alberto Rodriguez
• Father Robert Vallee
• Father Klemens Dabrowski
• Msgr. Oscar Castaneda.

Click here to read the full text of Archbishop Wenski’s homily.
Archbishop Thomas Wenski poses for a picture after the Chrism Mass with the priests marking 25 and 50 years of ordination.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Archbishop Thomas Wenski poses for a picture after the Chrism Mass with the priests marking 25 and 50 years of ordination.

Comments from readers

MANUEL ANTONIO PELAEZ,MA - 04/04/2012 04:29 PM
This is the great day, we have been waiting for!. Let us pray and be 'alert' to the motions of the Word of God. So that, the 'plan, Criterion and Will of God' takes place in this great local Church.

Que Viva La Nueva Evangelizacion!- Desde los Docs: Novo Milennio Ineunte, Aparecida.
Carlota E. Morales, Ed. D. - 04/04/2012 10:48 AM
We, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School, had the opportunity to attend the Chrism Mass. It is always a great celebration of our traditions and of our faith. This year it had the added significance that our Pastor, Reverend Father Juan M. Lopez, was celebrating his Golden Jubilee, along with two of his fellow priests from Spain Msgr. Jose L Hernando and Reverend Father Jose L Paniagua, once a parochial vicar at Sts. Peter and Paul School and instrumental in my faith of years past. I am extremely proud of working with Father Lopez, a man of God, giving to his flock always 110%, setting an example to all who come to him. To all the Jubilarians, my gratitude and my prayers.
Felicidades!
Carlota E. Morales, Ed. D.
Principal
Sts. Peter and Paul School
Magaly Conde - 04/04/2012 09:42 AM
Mi alegria aumenta con el anuncio de este Sinodo. Amo a la Iglesia. He sido catequista RCIA por muchos años y con dolor veo la necesidad de evangelizar a los que se llaman catolicos. A Mons. Wenski pido perdon por los cubanos intransigentes, ya que soy cubana. Pero no todos somos asi. ¡Gracias Mons. por toda su labor! ¡Que Dios lo continue bendiciendo!

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