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Virtual Advent Calendar

Synodality at the Heart of This Year's

Advent Calendar

Advent is a time of anticipation and expectation, a time when we wait, pray and prepare for the Lord's revelation in our midst. It is an invitation to each of us to journey in hope, to allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God, and to trust that the Lord will guide our feet. 

The synodal process is also a time of anticipation and expectation; an invitation to each of us to journey in hope, to allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God, and to trust that the Lord will guide our feet. 

The digital Advent Calendar of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference is now in its ninth year. This year the calendar will focus on the theme of synodality as we journey together and wait for the coming of Christ our Saviour. Please join us each day as the doors of the calendar reveal:

  • a short video reflection on the themes of Advent and Synodality

  • prayers and resources for homes, schools and parishes, and

  • some simple activities to share with children 

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Welcome to the Synodal Pathway

The Catholic Church is preparing for a great Synod, a "walking on the way together", in 2024.  Pope Francis has asked, "How can the Church better fulfil her mission of offering hope to ALL people?"  He has called a Synod of Bishops which will come together in 2024.  The Holy Father wants the whole church to practice being 'Synodal', walking together and praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit so we will hear what God is saying to us now in these days.   The Pope uses three words when he talks about Synod: Communion, Participation, and Mission.  We are not being invited simply to put forward opinions or even to debate, but rather to listen prayerfully to the Holy Spirit speaking to us as individuals, families, worshipping communities, and all our brothers and sisters.

The Theme of this Synod
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The communion we share finds its deepest roots in the love and unity of the Trinity.  together, we are inspired by listening to the Word of God, through the living Tradition of the Church, and grounded in the sensus fidei that we share.  We all have a role to play in discerning and living out God's call for his people.

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Participation is based on the fact that all the faithful are qualified and are called to serve one another through the gifts they have each received from the Holy Spirit in baptism.  In a synodal Church the Whole Community is called together to pray, listen, analyse, dialogue, discern and offer advice on making pastoral decisions which correspond as closely as possible to God's will. 

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Our mission is to witness to the love of God in the midst of the whole human family.  This Synodal Process has a deeply missionary dimension to it.  It is intended to enable the Church to better witness to the Gospel, especially with those who live on the spiritual, social, economic, political, geographical, and existential peripheries of our world.  


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Synodal Prayer for Unity this Advent Season

Synodality at the Heart of This Year's

The National Synthesis from the Catholic Church in Ireland noted that a “deepening of ecumenical relationships in recent years on the island of Ireland has been a source of great hope to many in the Christian community, as a contribution to overcoming the legacy of our divided past. Similarly, the development of spaces for interfaith dialogue and cooperation has helped protect the place of religious faith in an increasingly secular and multicultural Ireland (Section 3, page 20).”

The Working Document for the Continental Stage of the Synod, Enlarge the Space of Your Tent (Isaiah 54:2) also notes that many reports “emphasize that there is no complete synodality without unity among Christians (Section 48).” Revitalising our commitment to dialogue and ecumenism requires formation and prayer to increase our confidence, capacity, and motivation for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. Please join us as we pray the synodal prayer for unity this Advent season.

Heavenly Father,
As the Magi journeyed towards Bethlehem led by the star,
so by your heavenly light, guide the Catholic Church to walk
together with all Christians during this time of synod.

As the Magi were united in their worship of Christ,
lead us closer to your Son and so to one another,
so that we may become a sign of the unity that you desire
for your Church and the whole of creation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. 

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Diocesan Phase
National Phase
Continental Phase