Message from Archbishop
Jesus who is God’s revelation had a mission, namely the reign of God. In fact, Jesus’ mission is God’s mission. God’s mission gave birth to Church. It is not that the Church has a mission, but rather that God has a mission. “Mission precedes the Church.” If God is a missionary then the Church must be a missionary. The Vatican II’s document on the Mission Activity of the Church confirms that “The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature since it is from the mission of the Son and the mission of the Holy Spirit that she draws her origin, in accordance with the decree of God the Father”. The Church has continued God’s mission for the last 2000 years.
After four years into my episcopal ministry, I discerned that it was time for the Church in the Archdiocese of Suva to renew and strengthen its commitment to God’s mission. I identified the following needs that necessitate a synod:
1. To re-define the Church’s mission through a diocesan pastoral plan,
2. To promote good leadership in the Church’s mission through sound diocesan policies and procedures,
3. To promote God’s mission through effective catechesis programs on the sacraments, liturgy, and Church teachings
4. To connect the Church’s mission to social, economic, political, environmental, and moral issues in Fiji.
Hence, on the Feast of Pentecost 4th June 2018, after consulting the Council of Priests, I issued a decree for the convocation of the Archdiocese of Suva Synod.
ARCHDIOCESE OF SUVA’S PASTORAL MISSION PLAN 2021-2025 SUMMARY VERSION: CONNECTING IN JESUS
What do we do in a Synod?
In a synod, we come to reflect on our lives, our world, and our families not to solve all the problems but rather to reflect on them in light of the Gospel and the Church Teachings in order to discern what is God saying to us. Pope Francis states that God looks through the eyes of those on the periphery, that is the poor, victims of in- justice, sinners, women and children, sick, peoples with disabilities. By looking through the eyes of God we will take in the breath of God. The Pope states that a synodal Church is a one that walks together with the people of God and offers a better reading of the signs of the times and listening to God.
The Archdiocese Synod and Pastoral Mission Plan
The synodal journey began with the formation of the pre-preparatory commission who were tasked to design and organize the synodal process. The liturgy committee produced a synod prayer and Fr. Patrick Visanti composed a synod song so that we could invoke the Holy Spirit. The consultative commission conducted a survey to gather peoples’ needs, aspirations, and opinions regarding the Church. The catechetical commission provided opportunities for faith formation and catechesis. Finally, during the three-day synod sessions, the synod members were given the opportunity to give their opinions on the seven synodal themes. The final synodal document was then presented to me during the Synod Eucharistic celebration. Upon receiving the synod document, I went for a one-week re-treat to pray and reflect on the synod recommendations.
The synod team, together with Archdiocese Commissions spent many hours refining the pastoral mission plan. Now I am delighted to publish the Archdiocese of Suva Pastoral Mission Plan in its summary form (now) and full version (later).
I sincerely thank all those who were involved in the Archdiocese of Suva synodal process, the preparatory committee, the consultative committee, the catechetical committee, the liturgy committee, the finance committee, the synod delegates, and the synod session team led by Fr. Arthur Leger. My deepest gratitude to Aid to the Church in Need and MISSION for helping fund the synod and all those who have contributed to the synod. Finally, and most importantly, I thank you all for participating in the synodal journey through prayer, singing, dancing, processions, attending seminars, and the many paths we followed. The synod was and continues to be a journey together and connecting in Jesus.
With deep gratitude,
+ Archbishop Peter Loy Chong
Click on the link below to access the
Archdiocese of Suva’s PASTORAL MISSION Plan 2021-2025