Springbank Catholic Synod
In 2022, the Catholic Church entered into a synodal process. This process is designed to encourage parishioners to share their real-life experiences in the church; it asks about people's hopes and dreams, and where there are struggles and difficulties.
In 2023, Springbank Catholic embarked on our own synodal journey where we sought to consider how we could best further the Kingdom of God using the resources with which we have been blessed.
Out of this, we developed our new five-year Parish Pastoral Plan. This plan is a direct summary of everything we heard within our five Synodal sessions, and begins with our Mission Statement.
Springbank Catholic Family aspires to be a welcoming and grace-filled community, seeking through our words and actions, to be the presence of Christ in the World.
Rooted in God's love, we will inspire hope by celebrating and living our faith;
We will empower all people of all ages by engaging their diverse gifts and talents;
We will continue to build our Family through service and outreach;
We will be faithful stewards of the resources which God has entrusted to our care.
For more information about our past Synod sessions, see below.
During Session Three, participants in the Synod will be given a small prayer rope, often called a komboskini or chotki. They are worn on the wrist and provide an opportunity to pray The Jesus Prayer.
The Jesus Prayer, also called the Prayer of the Heart or the Prayer of a Single Thought, is a short, simple prayer. In it, we confess our faith in Christ and ask for His mercy. The wording of the prayer may vary, but its most commonly used form is: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.”
Since the prayer is said repeatedly, many Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican) will use prayer ropes to aid them in praying the Jesus Prayer. Some may make the sign of the cross every time they recite the prayer.
We see the Jesus Prayer most clearly practiced by the Publican in Luke 18:10-14. The Pharisee exalted himself and thanked God he was not like other men. But the Publican stood far from the altar, refused to raise his eyes to heaven and hit his chest and cried, “God, be merciful to me a sinner”. We also see a form of this prayer when Peter called out, “Lord, save me” as he sank into the sea (Matthew 14:30).
The Jesus Prayer begins with the name of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ. The transformative power behind this prayer lies in proclaiming the name itself, for “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). But why is calling on the name of the Lord so powerful?
In the Old Testament (OT), knowing a person’s name gave you power over that person. A name was inexorably linked to a person’s very being. Address them by name, and they would respond when you called them. God would not disclose His name to anyone in the OT. But in the New Testament (NT), Jesus explicitly calls God "Father" and tells us to use that name in prayer. Christ gives us access to the Godhead through His own name. He says, “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you” (John 16:23).
Saint Basil the Great explains it this way:
“But if someone claims that it is written: “whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved”, and that therefore a Christian need only invoke the name of God to be saved, let him read what the Apostle has said: “How can they call upon him if they do not believe in him?” And besides this there are the words of the Lord himself: “Not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).”
St. John Chrysostom offers this:
“A monk when he eats, drinks, sits, officiates, travels or does an other thing must continually cry: “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me!” so that the name of the Lord Jesus, descending into the depths of the heart, should subdue the serpent ruling over the inner pastures and bring life and salvation to the soul. He should always live with the name of the Lord Jesus, so that the heart absorbs the Lord and the Lord the heart, and the two become one.”
Some might choose to use the prayer while driving, doing the dishes, folding laundry, walking, lying awake at night, cleaning, eating, et cetera, and some people invoke the name of the Lord whenever they feel anxious, concerned, or upset.
As our synodal process continues to unfold, we ask that we be open to wherever God might be leading us. Prayer is the foundation of this process and wearing our prayer ropes in an invitation for us to call up Jesus, over and over again.
May God grant the increase.
Springbank Catholic Synod Topics
Who are we as God's People?
Rooted in scripture and conciliar documents, this session will help us to reflect on who we are as members of Christ's body, incorporated into the Church through Baptism.
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
1164 Commissioners Rd. W
Meet Our Facilitators
What is a synod?
The word "synod" originates from the Greek word for "assembly." While the earliest synods find their origin in the second century, bishops and others have gathered in synod countless times over the last two millennia. A synod is more than a meeting. It is an opportunity for us to gather to reflect on God's Word and listen to how the Spirit is inviting us to embody the gospel in this particular place and time.
Trusting that the Spirit has been poured into our hearts through baptism, everyone's presence and contributions are necessary in this process.
We strongly encourage people come to all five sessions, as they will build upon one another.
This page will host updates on our process and our journey together.
May God grant the increase.