Diocesan Administrator

Dear Fathers/Brothers/Sisters/Laity,

Our Holy Father Pope Francis wants every human being to encounter the crucified Jesus who is also the Risen and glorious God of history. Christ’s resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power, which has permeated this world. The Holy Spirit is the gift of the Risen Christ. The Spirit leads us into the divine life as true Children of God, as sons and daughters in the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The Spirit changes us and wants to transform the world in which we live. It is clear then that Pope Francis seeks newness, renewal and change modeled upon Jesus and animated by God’s Spirit. To achieve this, the Holy Father invites all people of God to journey together, listening to each other, understanding one another and live a participative and inclusive ecclesial process that offers everyone – especially those who for various reasons find themselves on the margins – the opportunity to express themselves and to be heard; and then to recognize and appreciate “the wealth and the variety of the gifts and charisms that the Spirit liberally bestows for the benefit of the whole human family.

For this reason, guided by the Holy Spirit Pope Francis has decided to convoke the 16th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2023. The theme chosen for this Synod is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission.”

Synod’ comes from the Greek ‘Syn’ and ‘hodos’. It simply means ‘journeying together’. As a Church, we journey together with the Holy Spirit and Jesus who is the “Way” (Jn 14:6). Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection gave rise to a movement of his disciples called ‘The Way’ (Acts 9:2; 19:9; 22:4). This “Way” of people with diverse spiritual gifts and charisms (1Cor 12) was filled with a deep sense of service and mission. They saw themselves as servants of the community. However, in today’s context, the Church has become heavily institutional and structured as a result communion and participation is missing. What the Holy Father expects from this assembly is, through a synodal journey to put the entire Church in a position to live on authentic synodal experience; a time of listening to the Spirit in which everyone will learn a form and style of Synodal Church; in which it assumes the choice that is most valuable in the Synodal Church, journeying together. It invites us to look at how the Christian community can be accredited “as a credible subject and reliable partner in paths of social dialogue, healing, reconciliation, inclusion and participation, the reconstruction of democracy, the promotion of fraternity and social friendship; as well as how we can regenerate relationships among Christians, with representatives of other Christian confessions, and with other social groups, with the organizations of civil society, and with popular movements.

At the same time, the document recognizes that the synodal process is being undertaken in a context in which “The Church herself must face the lack of faith and the corruption even within herself, emphasizing that “we cannot forget the suffering experienced by minors and vulnerable people due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power, and the abuse of conscience” committed by clergy. Also the context of the global tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has devastated the whole world. These are occasions to offer ample space for renewed participation and appreciation of the Laity, and especially of women and young people, as requested by recent synods. Pope Francis insists that in a synodal church everyone, the faithful, the Bishops and the Bishop of Rome himself has something to learn. All listening to each other, and all listening to the Spirit of truth.

The preparations for the synod is already begun by the Pope appointing Cardinal Mario Grech as the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops with the General Secretariat in Rome who have already sent out the preparatory document along with a vademecum to indicate the guiding principles that will direct the path of the Synod on Synodality. Pope Francis will officially open the Synod on Sunday, October 10, in Rome with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, which will be live-streamed worldwide. Kindly publicize this papal inaugural event by making announcements in all Masses and through other social media.

A week later, on Sunday, October 17, 2021, in the whole diocese we will introduce the Synod by the Eucharistic celebration at 5 P.M. in St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Meerut, which will be live-streamed in our YouTube Channel. I request you to encourage all the faithful to participate online in this great event. On 17 October, being Sunday you will have the morning Eucharist with your parishioners in which you can exhort them about the Synod.

To facilitate and help the preparation the CCBI Commission for Theology and Doctrine would be responsible for coordinating our nationwide preparatory phase of the synodal journey and Fr. Francis Gonsalves, the Executive Secretary of that commission, is appointed as the coordinator. He will mediate between the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in Rome and the contact persons in our diocese. Fr. Roy Chowalloor and Sr. Meena RJM are appointed as the diocesan contact persons. For the success of the synod a prayer “Adsumus Sancte Spiritus” is made available in Hindi, which has to be said after all masses in the Churches and in communities and in families. A poster of the synodal symbol has to be set up in a prominent place in the parish. Further information will be communicated to you from time to time.

Let us pray for the success of the synod by invoking the Holy Spirit and the powerful intercession of Our Lady of Graces the Patroness of Our diocese.

Yours in Our Lord

Fr. Valerian Pinto