What Is a Synod?

Last weekend we celebrated a special Mass of the Holy Spirit to inaugurate the beginning of preparations for the 16th Ordinary Synod of Bishops held in Rome in October 2023. But what is a synod? Pope Francis defined Synod in his homily at the Mass to commence synod preparations. He said, “a synod is a journey of spiritual discernment taking place in adoration, prayer, and dialogue with the word of God.” It isn’t a Church convention, study group, or political congress. A synod isn’t a place to debate questions of doctrine; that is the duty of an Ecumenical Council. It doesn’t come to solve a problem but to consider an issue and suggest ways to develop new methods to deal with that issue.

Synods are both a new and ancient tradition in the Church. They date back to the earliest days of the Church when bishops of a specific region came together to address issues pertaining to the growth of the Church in a particular area. Sometimes, the solutions they developed were reasonable solutions for the entire Church, so the Synod influenced the whole Church. A Particular diocese also can hold Synods. Dioceses have used this as a mechanism to formulate a plan for the future of that diocese.

Universal Church Synods grew out of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Paul VI devised their format and established the Synod of Bishops as a Permanent Secretariat in the Vatican. The Pope is the Synod’s President; he determines the agenda and grants the Synod’s deliberative powers. The Pope can call synods at any time. There are both Ordinary Synods, such as the current one on Synodality, but also extraordinary ones, focusing on a specific region of the world or particular concern.

Would you please pray for the success of the local preparations going on throughout the world?

Prayer for the Synod on Synodality

We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us, Make Yourself at home in our hearts;

Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.

We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.

Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.

Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.

All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. AMEN.

Mass Schedule For All Saints Day

Monday, November 1, is All Saints Day. Usually, it is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. Since it falls on a Monday this year, it is not an obligatory Holy Day. Regardless, it is an important day to celebrate. Mass attendance is still encouraged. We will celebrate Masses for the Holy Day at 8 AM and 12:05 PM.

November Book of the Dead

November is the month Catholics make efforts to pray for the repose of the souls of the faithful dead. This week parishioners received a letter from Fr. Sullivan inviting them to forward the names of their beloved dead for inclusion in our November Book of the Dead. Throughout the month, we will reverence the book with incense at the beginning of weekend Masses.

We encourage a donation of $1 per name to be included in the All Souls envelope. Proceeds from the envelopes will go to the Chatham Children’s Fund. Please forward your list of names to the Parish Office as soon as possible.

We will celebrate our annual Memorial Mass for Holy Redeemer parishioners who died in the last year on All Souls Day, Tuesday, November 2, at 7:00 PM. If a member of your family or a friend has died this year, send their name to the Parish Office, and we will include them on our list. We will also remember the deaths of all Covid victims at that Mass. Please plan to come to our All Souls Mass to pray for the dead.

Available For All in Need

The Holy Redeemer Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society provides financial assistance with bills for food, housing, utility, insurance, repairs to homes and autos, etc., to our Chatham neighbors in need regardless of race, creed, or background. Their assistance in strict confidentiality. Our SVDP especially desires to aid any Holy Redeemer parishioners with financial needs. Contact the society using their Help Line (508)-267-7983 or, if you prefer, call Fr. Sullivan (508)-945-0677. Financial support for the society’s works can be forwarded to the Parish Office or placed in the Poor Box at the entrance to the Church.

Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Is a significant wedding anniversary in your future? The Diocese of Fall River plans its annual Mass of Thanksgiving for couples observing significant wedding anniversaries (including the first year) during 2022 for Sunday, February 13, 2022; the celebration will be held at 3:00 PM at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. If you would like an invitation, please get in touch with the Parish Office. You must be submitted your names before Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

Lost and Found

A rather expensive-looking woman’s bracelet was found in Church after daily Mass on Wednesday, October 6. It is in the sacristy. If you can describe it, you can claim it.

World Mission Sunday

This weekend is World Mission Sunday. Please pray for Catholic missionaries throughout the world. Today’s second collection is for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith to support the missionary work of the Church throughout the world.