No. 7, S. 1997
Structural and Procedural Norms for the Parish Synodal Committees To our Venerable Clergy, Religious and Lay Leaders:
With the help of God and the dedication of the members of the Preparatory Commission for our Diocesan Synod, we have made substantial progress in our synodal work. The drafts of the six pastoral areas to which the Synod will address itself are most ready for final printing. As soon as they are printed copies of these shall be sent to the parishes for these to study them and return to the Preparatory Commission for evaluation and second drafting. This second draft will constitute the Schema that will be studied by the Diocesan Synodal Assembly that will meet here in Lucena will be chosen according to the Norms and Procedures that are being readied for printing. Copies of these “General Principles, Norm and Procedures of the Lucena Diocesan Synod” will be sent to every parish.
In our desire to forge a unity and solidarity within the diocesan local church, we have deemed it wise to involve the whole diocesan community in the celebration of this Synod. This diocesan participation in the Synod will be reflected not only in the diocesan representation in the Synodal Assembly where the Delegates will come from every parish and where all sectors of the diocesan population will be represented, but also in the preparatory studies of the topics to be taken up in the Synodal Assembly. For this purpose we are urging every parish that will be formed and will proceed according to the following “structural and procedural norms”:
a.MEMBERS OF THE PARISH SYNODAL COMMITTEE. The members of the Parish Pastoral Council may constitute the Parish Synodal Committee or its nucleus only.
b.If there are Religious in the parish these of their representative should be invited to join the Parish Synodal Committee.
a.) Once constituted, the Parish Syndal Assembly, upon receipt of the Study Drafts from the Diocesan Secretariat of the Synod, will convene at the instance of the parish priest to study the drafts as a group.
b.) Once an “overview” of the work that they are requested to do is taken by the Committee, they can decide whether:
c.) Answer to the Study Drafts must be decided by votes of the members of the Parish Synodal Committee so that both the majority and minority opinions could be reflected in the official report of the Parish Synodal Committee to the Preparatory Commission.
d.) If the opinion of the other parishioner’s non-members of the synodal committee is sought, this must be included in the parish report.
e.) Question or survey addressed exclusively either to the priest, the religious or the lay, should be included in the parish report.
f.) It is requested that, if possible, all copies of the Draft Studies be returned to the Diocesan Secretariat.
g.) At least two (2) copies of the official report or answer of the Parish Synodal Committee, authenticated by the Parish Priest and by the Executive Secretary of the parish Syndal Committee must be sent to the Diocesan Secretariat within two (2) months after receipt of the Study Drafts.
h.) It is of utmost importance that a prayerful atmosphere prevail in the deliberation of the Parish Synodal Assembly.
We hope that the foregoing Norms are sufficient to guide our Synodal Committees in the work that we are recommending to their zeal. We urge that formation of the Parish Synodal Assemblies be done without delay. Should there be doubts and difficulties, we shall be most happy to hear them. Also, mobile teams composed of members of the Preparatory Commission will be fielded to help the Parish Synodal Committees.
Allow me again to invite you all to pray to the Holy Spirit that He may be guide and help us in this work that we are undertaking for His greater glory and our sanctification.
JOSE T. SANCHEZ, D. D.
Bishop of Lucena
Lucena City, 7 Sept. 1977.