The Spirit in the Assembly

The “path of synodality” is what “God expects of the Church in the third millennium” said Pope Francis in 2015. Now he has launched a global synod, involving every diocese, to enable the Church to move along this path, and become what the Second Vatican Council envisioned: a body in which all of its members are active participants in the Church’s life and mission, assisting in the discernment of where the Spirit is calling. In five talks to explore this transformative moment in the history of Christianity, Dr Austen Ivereigh shows how, like all true reform in the Church, synodality involves the revival of an ancient practice, modified to allow for the evangelization of today’s world.

The Road to a Synodal Church

The opening session of the symposium focused on the experience of discernment and decision making in the Catholic religious tradition.

Fr. Nick Austin SJ, Master of Campion Hall, speaks about “The Art of Discernment” and, in the accompanying interview, goes into more detail about the disposition of freedom and ways of recognising the genuine presence of the Spirit.

Dom Christopher Jamison OSB, Abbot President of the English Benedictines, provides an overview of the origins and current practice of monastic governance in his order.

Sr Jane Livesey CJ, General Superior of the Congregation of Jesus, offers practical examples of discernment and listening within her congregation.

Fr. John McGowan OCD, a member of the Executive of the Conference of Religious in England and Wales, speaks of the importance of accepting imperfection and highlights some of the fruits of a good discernment process.