Synod ’17: “Haere, tukuna – Go, you are sent”

How can our faith communities respond to Synod ’17’s command “haere, tukuna – go, you are sent”?

This was the question 350 Catholics from the Wellington Archdiocese explored last weekend at Synod ’17.

The weekend – a culmination of months of prayer, planning, discussion, submissions, inspiration and hard work – was an inclusive and culturally diverse event.

Prayers and readings were offered by representatives in the Maori, Tongan, Tamil, Samoan and Tagalog languages; the music was described as “superb”; and young people (many pictured above) featured strongly in leading prayers, contributing to discussions and adding to the vibrant and hopeful mood.

Beginning with Vespers at Wellington’s Sacred Heart Cathedral – which opened with Cardinal John reading an encouraging message from Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of Pope Francis – a weekend of goodwill, fellowship, discussion and discernment followed.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday, participants worked in a series of small groups to explore the 11 topics identified in the planning process:

  • the peripheries of society
  • developing a spirituality of service
  • finding leaders
  • using your assets wisely
  • deepening your bicultural relationship
  • as members of one Body of Christ
  • your own peripheries
  • caring for creation
  • fellow Christians
  • accompanying one another
  • supporting marriage and families

After intensive work summarising and analysing the results, the organisers presented Cardinal John with 120 recommendations for him to consider.

One of the organisers pointed out that these recommendations resulting from Synod ’17 will form the bones of a long term plan for the archdiocese.

When discussing the weekend, many participants commented on how enlightening and stimulating they found it.

“Fantastically well organised; hats off to the behind-scenes workers,” a small group agreed.

“Hearing from young people was refreshing,” several people said.

Young people themselves were positive about the opportunity to contribute. “It was a very insightful experience. I’m honoured and privileged to be part of it,” a young woman said.

Her friend was just as positive: “It’s inspiring and hopeful for the future of the Church”.

“Wonderful and uplifting,” added the oldest participant.

Cardinal John is delighted with Synod ’17’s success. “A wonderful weekend with great participation and an appreciation for the discernment process used.”


  • Juliet Palmer
  • Image: Juliet Palmer
Additional reading

News category: Top Story.

Tags: , ,