Saints Peter & Paul Major Seminary
Bodija, Ibadan, Nigeria
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Friday, October 29, 2021

On the 29th of October, 2021, the Seminarians and Formators of Saints Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan, gathered in the Seminary Auditorium at 4pm for the first departmental lecture of the session, which was organized by the National Association of Catholic Theology Students, NACATHS. The lecture was titled “A Synodal Church: An Effort Towards Reviving the Spirit of Communion, Participation and Mission in Ecclesiology.” The lecture was delivered by Sr. Nathalia Ajayi IHM and was moderated by Rev. Fr. Richard Omolade.

After the preliminary activities, which involved the opening prayer, introduction of moderator and speaker and their citations, the speaker delved into the talk. She began by explaining the word “Synod”. From the etymology of the word, synod means coming together. It is a religious assembly to deliberate on theological issues. Pope Pius VI established the Synod of Bishops as a permanent institution in 1965. According to Pope Francis, the Church needs to rediscover her Synodal nature. Clarifying the terms in the topic, she said that ‘Reviving’ does not presuppose a dead Church but it implies giving new strength to a Church that is alive and active. She went on to explain that a Synodal Church works towards communion through participation of all members. The objective of the Synod is to listen to the Holy Spirit, having heard from the People of God. Explaining the theme of the Synod, initiated by Pope Francis, she said that the Communion we share finds its deepest roots in the love and unity of the Trinity. Participation is a call for the involvement of all who belong to the assembly of the People of God to engage in the exercise of deep and respectful listening to one another. Mission is the Church’s mandate to evangelize all peoples and nations as a Sacrament of Salvation. According to her, the Church exists in order to evangelize the world. The mission of the Church is all inclusive, wherein everyone has a role to play. Unity and cooperation among Christ’s faithful, promotion of the sense of belonging and a renewed spirit of participation will help achieve a positive outcome in terms of Communion, Participation and Mission in the Church of Christ. In conclusion, she said that for the Church to remain the Sacrament of God’s Salvation, She must listen to the Holy Spirit and consciously discern the signs of the times. A true Church is one that is “inclusive” and harnesses the gifts of all her members and ministers for the realization of their respective vocations.

At the end of the paper presentation, the speaker and the moderator responded to questions from those present. Gifts were presented to the speaker and the moderator by representatives of the NACATHS body. The Head of Theology Department, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Joseph Iyamah, gave the closing remarks, during which he affirmed that the seminary will, in her own way, participate in the series of Synodal programs. After the closing prayer, there was a group photograph by the speaker, moderator and all the formators present. It was indeed an enlightening and enriching intellectual experience.


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