Online synodality course aims for 100,000 participants

Catholic institutions from several continents have joined together to launch a free online course in synodality that will be open to bishops, priests, religious and lay people around the world.

The project is coordinated by members of the Theological Commission of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in collaboration with the Formación Continua of the Jesuit School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College.

In a media release outlining the course, the organisers say:

“The Synod on Synodality was inaugurated in October 2021 by Pope Francis and will culminate with the celebration of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023,” the course organisers say in a media release.

“This event represents a new stage in ecclesial life that invites us to generate processes of conversion and reform in order to build a Synodal Church for this third millennium.

“The present intercontinental and intercultural project proposes to accompany formation of more than 100.000 people in the theology and practice of synodality through a series of free online courses to support all the people of God —bishops, priests, religious men and women, lay men and women— who have been called to this process of ecclesial renewal.

“All the courses are completely free of charge and will be offered online in several languages —Spanish, English, Portuguese, French and Italian. In addition, speakers from all continents will participate in the courses, which will allow us to have a global and intercultural vision of the Church.

“The first course will be held in July 2022. Over a period of three weeks, different topics on Common discernment and Decision making in the Church will be offered. We invite you to register and get involved in the challenge of imagining and building the Church of the third millennium.

Organisers of the program are Dr Rafael Luciani (Venezuela), Dr Carlos María Galli (Argentina), Dr Agenor Brighenti (Brazil) (Latin American Members of the Theological Commission of the General Secretariat of the Synod) and Dr Félix Palazzi (Director of “Formación Continua,” Boston College School of Theology and Ministry).

It is sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Episcopal Council (CELAM), the Council of Bishops Conferences of Europe (CCEE), the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC), International Union Superiors General (UISG), the Union of Superiors General (USG), the Latin-American Confederation of Religious (CLAR), the Union of European Conferences of Major Superiors (UCESM), and the Conference of Jesuit Provincials in Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL).

Lecturers will include Prof. Luciani, Sr Nathalie Becquart and Bishop Shane MacKinlay of Sandhurst, all of whom spoke at ACI webinars on synodality in 2021.


Common Discernment and Decision Making in the Church, Free Online Course (Massive Open Online Course) (Synod Resources)



Sr Nathalie Becquart: Lay People and Synodality

French Xavierian Sister Nathalie Becquart, recently appointed by Pope Francis as Under-Secretary to the Vatican Synod of Bishops, will address an ACI Webinar on the theme “Lay People and Synodality” at 7.00pm AEST on Thursday 19 August 2021.

Sr Nathalie is the first woman to hold such a role in the Synod. In another first in February this year, Pope Francis also appointed her as one of the Synod’s two Under-Secretaries.

The next Synod of Bishops, which will take place in October 2023, will take as its subject “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.”

The theme of “synodality” also features prominently in the agenda for the Australian Plenary Council, which will hold its first session in October this year.

Sr Nathalie originally studied entrepreneurship at the the elite Haute Ecole de Commerce in Paris before joining the Xaverian Sisters. After completing her novitiate, she worked with the national team of the French Scouts movement.

She also studied theology at the Jesuit Centre Sèvres in Paris, sociology at the Ecole de Haute Etudes en Sciences Sociales. Later she furthered her studies in ecclesiology, specialising in synodality, at the Boston College of Theology and Ministry.

She later worked in youth ministry and was appointed as Adjunct Director of Student Pastoral Work by the French Catholic Bishops Conference.

Sr Nathalie will share her experience on this important topic. Bishop Shane MacKinlay, Sandhurst Diocese, and Susan Pascoe, former executive director of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission, recently appointed to the Methodological Commission of the Synod of Bishops, will respond.

Please join us for this timely event.



Nathalie Becquart (Wikipedia)

Q & A with Sr. Nathalie Becquart: Upcoming synod could ‘turn a clerical church into a synodal church’ (Global Sisters)

Sister Natalie Becquart and the primacy of synodality (The Tablet)

Interview of Sister Nathalie Becquart with News Nightly (EWTN)

General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops