The synod is our faith journey

The Diocesan Synod Assembly of the Malacca Johore Diocese (MJD) was held at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on May 3.

May 13, 2022

Bishop Bernard Paul and the clergy celebrating Mass at the Diocesan Synod Assembly

JOHOR BAHRU: The Diocesan Synod Assembly of the Malacca Johore Diocese (MJD) was held at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on May 3.

Some 180 representatives from all parishes in the diocese, clergy, and religious, attended the event. During Adoration, the focus was on unity, as one in journey and service, reflecting on 1 Cor 11: 12-31.

Bishop Bernard Paul, in his opening address said, “As a Church and diocese, we come here today to thank God for the blessings we have received, especially as we close the diocesan synod. We are invited to recall our faith journey as the people of God in this diocese and to start this process again, walking and discerning together in the light of the Holy Spirit.” We are called to be

1. Inclusive
2. Integrated: united and not divided
3. Intentional in our actions
4. Inspired by the Holy Spirit

Fr Moses Rayappan, in his welcoming address said, “This is our journey, this is our Synod. Our service in, and to the Church, is not work but a sacrifice. We don’t serve only those we like, or when we have free time, but what we administer is a service to one another in love. Our feet symbolise our journey and our hands symbolise our service. Our feet mark the journey we make in this world, leaving footprints for others to follow, and through our hands, we render service to the world, Church, and one another. We build God’s Kingdom through our journey and service since it’s the most visible sign of us as zealous witnesses of Christ.

“Today we come as a diocese, we put aside all our prejudices, and we come with open hearts to listen to the Holy Spirit and to one another. If we do not listen to the Holy Spirit, we will most certainly not accept the viewpoint of the other.

“We should be proud of belonging to this diocese. We should think as a diocese, move as a diocese, and journey as a diocese.” The input session was conducted in four languages and the questions given for reflection were:

1. How do you envision MJD in 10 years?

2. Name three issues that need the diocese’s immediate attention.

3. List three plans or programmes that will better equip us for the future as a diocese.

There were also faith journey testimonials shared by the various language groups, members of the migrant community, and an Orang Asli representative. During the concluding Mass, Bishop Bernard shared the symbol of the tree, chosen as the cultural image for the diocese, focusing on Communion, Participation, and Mission.

During the recessional hymn, Bishop Bernard gave all parish priests a plant to plant in their respective parishes. After Mass, Bishop Bernard and Fr Edward Rayappan each planted a plant at the grotto. This is our Synod, this is our Faith Journey. — By MJD Diocesan Synod Team

MJD’s choice, the people’s choice: this is MJD’s synodal symbol — a tree of many colours, and many fruits, diverse and different, at different stages of growth

1. Our ROOTS: Our LIFE-SUPPORT: The Communion in
+ Christ, Community, Church, and Creation
+ Scripture, Tradition, and Doctrine
+ History, Stories, our Past, and Present
2. Our TRUNK: Our LIFELINE: The Participation in
+ Prayer, the Word, the Sacraments, the Community
+ Eucharist, to Feed the Poor and Needy
+ Family, Community, Church, and Ecological Lives
3. Our FRUITS: Our LIFE-GIVING: The Mission
+ Bear Good and Enduring Fruits
+ Touch Lives
+ Never Grow Tired of Doing Good
+ Hear the Cry of the Poor and the Cry of Creation
+ Love What God Loves

The input session was conducted for the different language groups.

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