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Welcome to the Synodal Pathway

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.


'Synodality Explored: Facing the Future Together’

International Conference at Knock Shrine

in association with Notre Dame University, Australia


Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary-General of the synod, delivered the keynote address at the April 19-20 conference: "Synodality Explored: Facing the Future Together" at Knock Shrine.












 Click above to watch Cardinal Grech’s full keynote address.



Photos: Knock Shrine

Fr. Declan Hurley, Parish Administrator, Navan, and Chair of the National Synodal Team delivered a conference paper entitled,

'Imagining Co-responsibility in the Irish Context: A Synodal Adventure'.


Click on Synod logo to read Fr. Declan Hurley's Conference Paper

Prof. Eamonn Conway, Fr Eugene, Nicola Mitchell, Cardinal Mario Grech, Julieann Moran, Fr Declan Hurley and Fr Richard Gibbons at the Synodality Conference, Knock Shrine


Click on image opposite to read the diocesan submission forwarded to the National Synodal Team, April 2024.  

Reimagining the Life of the Church in Ireland where People are Co-responsible for the Church's Mission.
Towards October 2024
Summary of Contributions from Dioceses and Groups of the Catholic Church in Ireland

In response to the invitation from the Secretariat of the Synod in Rome to deepen our reflections on the Report from its first synodal assembly in October 2023 (called A Synodal Church in Mission and published in November) the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference received contributions from all the dioceses of Ireland along with a further ten contributions from associations of lay faithful, ecclesial movements, and Church agencies. These contributions were read and reflected upon in a spirit of prayer and discernment by a writing group of the Irish Synodal Pathway’s National Team and a draft eight-page summary of the contributions was prepared.  A supporting document - 'Keeping the Synodal Dynamism Alive - a ollation of testimonies and best practice form the Catholic Church in Ireland' was was prepared.


The Synod on Synodality
"The Synthesis Repor

The First General Session of the Synod of Bishops “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” concluded on October 28, 2023 with the publication of a synthesis (or summary) report entitled: “A Synodal Church on Mission.”

“The 42-page text covers 20 topics from ‘the Dignity of Women’ to ‘the Bishop of Rome in the College of Bishops.’ For each topic, ‘convergences,’ ‘matters for consideration,’ and ‘proposals’ are outlined.”

The document is not a magisterial text with any teaching authority. Neither is it a juridical document implementing any changes to canon law or Church governance.  It is merely a document summarizing the results of the conversations that took place during the assembly’s small-group and plenary sessions.  This text is an interim document, since the synod is not completely over. “This report will go back to local churches around the world for further consideration and input for the next phase of the synodal process and the next session in Rome in Oct. 2024,” 


Click to Download Report


Following the Winter General Meeting of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, a research report, commissioned by the National Steering Committee of the Irish Synodal Pathway was published.

In keeping with the spirit and methodology of the synodal process, the National Steering Committee wanted to ensure that those who worked to create the spaces for others to be heard (during the Diocesan Stage of the synodal process in 2022) were afforded that same space for reflection and listening.  The report provides valuable insights into the experiences, motivations and concerns of local leaders. It reflects a group that is diverse in terms of experiences and opinions, but united in their concern for the present and future mission of the Church, and in the conviction that the synodal process is an important development in the life of the Church.

In fulfilment of its remit to guide a two-year process of synodal listening and discernment for the Catholic Church in Ireland, the Report from the Steering Committee for the Synodal Pathway of the Catholic Church in Ireland has now been published. Documenting the learning and offering recommendations to help shape and inform the next phase of the Irish Synodal Pathway, the report provides:

  • an overview of the work carried out

  • an explanation of the key milestones on the journey so far

  • key features of the context in which the Catholic Church in Ireland is undertaking this synodal journey

  • examples of synodal dialogue and outreach to illustrate the variety, creativity and significance of the work that has taken place to date

  • key themes in the learning from this initial two-year phase

  • insights into the experiences, motivations and concerns of local leaders (arising from research published separately at Report)

  • a series of recommendations for the next phase of the Irish Synodal Pathway

An brief executive summary is available on

pages 4 – 7 of the Report.

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The Instrumentum Laboris is the official working document for the first session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place this October. A large number of people from various parts of the world with different fields of expertise prepared this important text which will animate all the work of the October assembly. The document will prove an invaluable tool for groups (parish, diocesan and national level) to continue their journey of reflection and discernment on how we walk together as a Church and carry out ecclesial initiatives.  To access the Instrumentum Laboris simply click on the image.


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Synodal Process

Synod - October 2023
Continental Phase
National Phase
Diocesan Phase
Synodal Timeline
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"In the Church, everything starts with baptism.  Baptism, the source  of our life, gives rise to the equal dignity of the children of God, albeit in the diversity of ministries and charisms.  Consequently, all the baptised are called to take part in the Church's life and mission."

Pope Francis, opening Mass for the Synod, 'For a Synodal Church, Communion, Participation and Mission'

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