By Andrew Kaufa, smm
After welcoming remarks by Fr Rafael Simbine the Secretary General of SECAM, the continental body’s first Vice President, Archbishop Lucio Muandula, led the participants in a prayer and reflection which drew from the story of the encounter between the Ethiopian eunuch and Philip in the book of Acts 8:6-8, 25-40.
“Understanding the Synodal process means to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit speaking to us and to listen to one another in order to do better the mission of the Church. That is why Philip asked for the Holy Spirit,” he said. “In Africa, we believe that we have to journey together as a family, to listen to one another. And that is why Pope Francis invited us to journey together in this Synod on Synodality, to enlarge our hearts, let us now together close the opening prayer with the prayer of our Father, asking for the Holy Spirit to be with us.”
The method of spiritual conversation
On the meaning, methodology, and practice of the Synod, Fr Giacomo Costa the Consulter for the General Secretariat of the Synod, said that the method called Spiritual Conversation involves three main steps: Taking the Floor, Making Room for the Other, and Building Together.
“The Spiritual Conversation Method does not guarantee the result but it offers a way of journeying together,” he added.
“The method helps us to listen to one another’s contribution, and so open up to the Holy Spirit who offers us new ways of looking at the Gospel mission” he continued. “The method does not guarantee anything; it is an attitude of prayer, to begin with prayer and to end in prayer.”
He explained, “It is not intended to go against the authority of the Church but putting together our experiences as a way of participating in the process of Synod on Synodality; it is not a win-lose situation.”
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