African Synod delegates gather in Nairobi to prepare for the October Synod Assembly 2024

April 27, 2024
Tags: , , ,
Nairobi, Kenya: Synod preparatory seminar in progress. Photo: Vatican News

African Synod delegates have gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, for a three-day seminar to prepare for the Second Session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod on Synodality scheduled to take place this October in the Vatican

Sr Phatsimo Veronica Ramokgwebana, SC

In his opening remarks, the seminar convenor, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo, the SECAM President, expressed gratitude to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for maintaining the African number and keeping the same persons as members of the Second Session of the ongoing Synod on Synodality. The Nairobi seminar, he said, was an opportunity to reflect on and share experiences that have animated the African synodal journey from the first session of 2023 to date. 

How can we become a Synodal Church? 

Reflecting on the first phase of the Synodal Assembly 2023, Cardinal Ambongo reminded delegates about the invitation for them to be witnesses to the synodal experience that they lived in Rome. The seminar is thus another occasion to share what they have lived, taught, learnt and observed during the almost six months since the conclusion of the first session last October. 

Cardinal Ambongo asked, “How can we become a Synodal Church in mission?” He explained that this reflection question should not limit delegates to the level of technicalities or procedural improvements that make the Church’s structures more efficient. The focus should be on encouraging everyone’s participation in various vocations within the Church, charisms, and ministries in the single mission of announcing Jesus Christ to the world. 

According to the prelate of Kinshasa, the seminar also allows delegates to reflect on the guiding questions proposed by the Secretariat for the Synod given the upcoming 2024 Assembly. Some of these topics include the synodal method and the “place” of the synodal Church in mission.

SCCs as seeds of synodality

The Cardinal also made reference to Africa’s unique experience and contribution to the Synod on Synodality.

“Let us bear in mind and value the typical African experiences of synodality and mission, which have made the Church in Africa grow with its own characteristics. In this process, we cannot ignore the experience of the Small Christian Communities (SCCs), which have been seeds of synodality since the time of the Second Vatican Council. These ways of being Church, typical of our continent and nourished by the philosophical principle of Ubuntu, have made the Church grow in Africa, as a true family of God, where the forms of masses and anonymity are overcome by bonds of brotherhood, interconnection and mutual support; where the mission is not only carried out by words but above all by small gestures of attention, care, visits, sharing and the communion of feelings in different circumstances. All of this, characterizes the richness of the Church in Africa, and we must have the courage to share it with the universal Church,” said Cardinal Amongo.

Source: Vatican News

Related content