What does "synod" mean?
The word synod comes from two Greek words:
Thus, a synod is a meeting of the community which journeys "on the road together". It is a time to consider where we have been, and to make plans for the road ahead.
This understanding of a synod should naturally draw our thoughts to the story of the appearance of the Risen Lord on the Road to Emmaus. Luke tells us of the first Easter:
Along the way, Jesus helps them to understand the events of the previous week in light of God's plan for the salvation of the world:
Their experience of the Lord in the Eucharist helps them to put the lessons of their journey into context:
Renewed by their communion with the Lord, they set out upon the mission He had entrusted to them:
This experience of Jesus "on the road together" with us is essential to understanding the significance of the Synod. His gift of the Spirit sheds light on the lessons of life's journey, draws us to communion with Himself, and strengthens us for carrying out the Gospel mission in the world.
"The final object of an archdiocesan synod is to foster communion and mission."
Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua
Decree convoking the Tenth Synod
The Archdiocese of
Philadelphia serves over 1.4 million Catholics in the five counties of