THIS EVENING! ALL WELCOME! Synod on Synods – Zoom presentation with Gerry O’Hanlon SJ


The Synod on Synods

Zoom presentation with Gerry O’Hanlon SJ


Thurs 25th Feb 2021 at 7.00pm

Meeting ID: 881 9050 4866

Passcode: 93pDWv


Pope Francis has called a Synod of Bishops for October 2022 with the theme For a synodal Church: communion, participation, and mission. This is to be a reflection on the experience gained, and questions arising, from the series of recent such Synods (on the family, young people, the Amazon). He has invited input from local Churches.

Can the ACP contribute to the consultation of the Irish Church on this issue? Given that synodality is a key strategy of Francis in making the Church fit for the purpose of mission in contemporary times, can we suggest how it may lead to the development of a less clerical Church, with full exercise of baptismal rights for lay men and women and capable of meeting the challenges of an increasingly secularised Ireland?

Gerry O’Hanlon S. J. will tease out some of the issues involved and kick-start a conversation, open to all, around these issues, facilitated by chair Gerry O’Connor.

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ

Gerry O’Hanlon (b 1947) entered the Jesuits in 1965, having been to school in Belvedere College. His studies were mainly at home in Dublin, but included an MA in Classics in McMaster University in Canada (1971), a semester of theology at the Jesuit Hochschule in Frankfurt (1979) and doctoral studies in theology at Queen’s University Belfast, in the course of which he resided at the Presbyterian Chaplaincy at the University.

He was ordained in 1978 and taught Systematic Theology at the Milltown Institute from the early 80s until 1997. He moved to the small Jesuit community in Cherry Orchard in 1987. He has written several books and many articles, often on the themes of social theology and church renewal. He was an Irish Province delegate at GC 34 (1995) and Provincial from 1998-2004. Since 2005 he has been at the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice where he continues to engage in theological reflection, with a particular focus on the Great Recession and on Church reform. He has served on several Episcopal bodies – as part of the inter-Church Ballymaccanlon talks in the 80s and 90s, and more recently on the Council for Justice and Peace.

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  1. Pádraigín Clancy says:

    Thanks for a marvellous presentation on Synodality from Gerry O’Hanlon SJ and for the ensuing inspiring conversation.
    Ar aghaidh linn!
    Thanks to Gerry O’Connor for excellent facilitation.
    Could you please send me a copy of the Prayer about the Seed which was said at the start.
    I think our parish/faith community would appreciate it – esp at this time of the year.

    Pádraigín Clancy, Parish Pastoral Worker, St Michael’s, Inchicore, Dublin 8.

  2. Seamus Ahearne says:

    The ACP Leadership have adapted well to the new world. Those webinars are excellent. It is a great achievement to gather some 200 participants. It is indeed much easier to gather people online than to call/invite people to a venue anywhere! Most of us are too old for travelling. And sometimes, we don’t expect much to happen if we do or did!

    Last evening: Thanks Gerry. The background atmosphere/music was provided by Chris Lamb. All the speakers last evening, provided much comment and deep experience. It is most encouraging too that some bishops have joined us. We deeply appreciate their presence. We are working together and learning together and that is what matters. The ‘us’ and ‘them’ approach is nonsense. We shouldn’t even draw attention to their presence or place more demands on them. The cliche is true: We are in this together.

    I do have a problem. It is a form of impatience. Synod is not for talking about, but for doing. We don’t have to wait for Cardinal Grech or Pope Francis. Synod is a challenge for everyone of us. It can happen and should be happening for years in our Parishes. That is our core business. It should be our way of working. There is nothing difficult about it. In fact it is a most delightful way of living. It is humbling too, because we can and do learn, so much from everyone.

    It should happen also between bishops and priests. It should happen between bishops and bishops. It should happen in the Religious Orders and between the bosses and their Councils and between members and their leaders. It is a very normal way of living and working. It is FATIH-FUL. (I know. It hasn’t been happening generally and has allowed cynicism to flourish and despondency to take over which can become an excuse for doing nothing).

    It is about respect. It is about a belief in each other. It is about accepting that God is speaking through every person and even doing so, in surprising ways. It is about making space for everyone to breathe their godliness. It does work by the way. It works in the governance of a parish. It works in how we celebrate Liturgy. It works in how we participate. It works in how the Word of God is given space to speak in real Communion. It is communication, communion and community. We use the language all the time but often live a very different version. This is only our daily Creed: A listening to God and a sharing in our daily living together. How can we celebrate Eucharist if we don’t believe this? What happens then on that Table?

    I conclude: None of us can blame others or expect the rest to live Synod. It begins with me. It begin in the local church. It continues throughout the whole body. It is simple and exciting. It is refreshing and demanding.

    Seamus Ahearne osa

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