In its 8th Bugsayan Festival celebration, which was conducted virtually for the second year on Tuesday, the Catholic church focused on preparation for the 16th “Synod of Bishops” to address the church’s present condition in 2023.
Bishop Socrates Mesiona, Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa (AVPP) head, noted during the celebration that this year’s pre-synodal process encompasses parishes, dioceses, prelates, and apostolic vicariates, where the church also undertakes multi-sectoral dialogues.
Every three to four years, the Synod convenes for bishops to examine the state of the church and to put forth goals and measures for its future.
“Gusto ng Santo Papa na ang synod na ito ay pagkakataon na tayo ay magkasama-sama na maglalakbay bilang simbahan sa isang tukoy na landas,” Mesiona said.
He added that the pre-synodal process is the time and opportunity for interaction through sectoral consultation, listening to the sentiments and experiences in the church, and discerning for the mission given by God.
Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, bishop of the Diocese of Pasig, said, “The Synod of Bishops was founded to promote the unity and collaboration of bishops worldwide with the Pope.”
“Synod is traveling together with God, with the Pope, with our bishops and with one another bilang nagkakaisang simbahan,” Vergara said.
“Dito, sama-samang pinag-aaralan ang kasalukuyang kondisyon ng simbahan at gumagawa ng konkretong solusyon sa mga bagay patungkol sa kaniyang misyon,” he explained.
Bishop Vergara further stated that it is also an avenue where the church, through bishops and the Pope listen to the Holy Spirit which guides the church.
The Synod of Bishops was established by Pope Paul VI to continue the renewal of the church and was strengthened during the second Vatican Council.
The past 15 Synods held after the second Vatican Council helped Popes to write post-synodal apostolic exhortations to help boost the fate of the church.
The Synod of Bishops in 2023 will focus on the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” which will be held in Rome.
Aside from Synod, Bugsayan also tackled the evangelical mission of individuals as members of the church.
Bugsayan which literally means boat paddling is one of the largest events of the Roman Catholic church in the city every year. It is usually participated in by thousands of devotees at the City Coliseum but the celebration was conducted virtually for the second year in a row due to the existing health protocols because of the COVID-19 pandemic.