FEBIC LAC holds virtual Encounter on Synodality


Msgr. William John-Lewis

On the 30th of September, the Feast of St. Jerome, to mark both the Feast and the Closing of the Month of the Bible, FEBIC LAC, (Federacion Biblica  Latinoamericana y Caribena – The Biblical Federation of Latin America and the Caribbean) held a virtual Encounter with the theme:  Synodality.

Among the forty-nine (49) participants from various Counties of South America. Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain and the United States, were five from the Antilles Zone—Lauren Branker (AEC) and Gale Oxley, (Archdiocese of Port of Spain), Luciano Cuellar (Belize), Fr. Vibert Stephens (Bridgetown), Fr. Juancho Pilongo (Curacao) and the zonal coordinator, Msgr. William John-Lewis (Roseau). (sse Appendix 2).

In his opening remarks, Fr. Jesus Antonio Weisensee, the Regional Coordinator of FEBIC LAC reminded the participants that this Encounter was in a sense the continuation of a similar Encounter held on the same date last year, marking the Closing of the Year of the Word of God.

The present Encounter is our way of answering the call of the Holy Father, Pope Francis to reflect on this new way of being church, i.e. Synodality, a way of the people of God journeying together while listening to each other and listening to what the Holy Spirit is asking of the Church. He also paid homage to the late Fr. Cesar Herrera who pioneered the Biblical Federation having been the first Regional Coordinator.

Fr. Jesus Antonio Weisensee, Regional Coordinator of FEBIC LC, Msgr. William John-Lewis, zonal coordinator for the Antilles

Fr. Jesus Antonio then gave a brilliant Prezi presentation on Synodaity, the path which God expects of the Church of the third millennium. Beginning with the legacy of the Second Vatican Council, with special reference to Lumen Gentium, he explored the thinking of the Holy Father on the topic of Synodality. (Below is the link for the Preszi presentation)

https://prezi.com/view/qT73x4S069GdbNIJB0ur/

Following his presentation, the participants were divided into groups to discuss one of three articles: an excerpt from the document: Synodality in the Life and Mission of the Church form the International Theological Commission;  the Speech delivered by the Holy Father on 17 October 2015 (commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Institution of the Synod of Bishops), and the Letter from the Holy Father to the People (Pilgrims) of Chile.  Each group was asked to reflect on and discuss one or the other of the  articles with a view to answering the questions: 1.  What does the text generate?  How does it inspire or motivate? 2.  What new steps does it propose especially with reference to the FEBICLAC? (see Appendix 1).

A summary of the responses of the various groups will be compiled and published as a document which can serve as FEBIC LAC’s contribution to the preparation of both the Latin American Ecclesial Assembly due to take place in November 2021 and the Synod of Bishops in 2023.

The general atmosphere was one of tremendous excitement. As usual, language posed a challenge since most of the participants were Spanish-speaking. However, the zonal coordinator for the Antilles was able to do a simultaneous translation for the benefit of our English-speaking participants, The Encounter concluded with a prayer, with each participant praying in his own language.

Appendix 1 The texts that were discussed studied and discussed

INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION

SYNODALITY IN LIFE AND IN THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

SPEECH BY HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

3. LETTER FROM THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD WHO ARE PILGRIMS IN CHILE

Appendix 2


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