In Laval, a synod to "change your habits"

“You are valuable to me. In this world loved by God, let us open paths of joy. The theme of the synod of the diocese of Laval, chosen long before the pandemic, resonated in a particular way during this health crisis. “ We were forced to postpone the closing of the synod for one year and this additional year was in fact fundamental ”, confides Father Luc Meyer, vicar general of the diocese and secretary of this synod which brought together 3450 participants for three years, divided into 533 teams.

“Beyond beautiful ideas, he continues, we questioned ourselves very concretely about the way in which each one lived with the others: in his family, his work, with his neighbors or with the elderly … » Centered on the way in which the Church can reach those who knock on its door as well as those who are distant from it, the acts of the Synod are declined in six laws and twenty-two decrees, promulgated by the bishop of Laval, Mgr Thierry Scherrer, Sunday May 23, for Pentecost. “ Benevolent and fraternal attention to our brothers and sisters in humanity is what constitutes the heart of our vocation as baptized people. », He comments.

Towards a “happy sobriety”

The first three laws invite the Christians of the diocese to draw on prayer, both personal and community, in the complementarity of states of life (priests, deacons, laity, consecrated persons…) and in benevolence in order to “be” transformer », in a changing society and world. “ You have to let yourself be decentered to meet others and Christ in others, comments Father Meyer. For this, there is no miracle recipe but a long and patient companionship to go to the country of the other ».

→ TESTIMONIALS. Pentecost 2021: ten words for the Church of tomorrow

The Fourth Law, requiring “ live a happy sobriety by leaving the mirage of idols and consumption »Fully resonates with the encyclical Lamented yes’ and the aspirations of the moment. Beyond the slogan, its application involves very concrete decisions such as training in integral ecology or participation in local, national or international initiatives in favor of a way of life respectful of Creation.

Missionary school

Finally, the last two laws of the synod invite everyone to “get out of their way”. First of all to better accompany those who knock on the door of the Church, in particular to ask for a sacrament (baptism, marriage …). “People who are far removed from the faith find it difficult to understand our language, describes the Vicar General. We must do initiation pedagogy and not stay in our well-oiled methods. »Beyond parishes, a decree specifies that other places can become sources of “Missionary influence”, like shrines, monasteries or local fraternities.

Finally, the sixth law consists in “leaving a posture of reception to go out on mission”. To create new links, experience daring encounters and “agree to a change of scenery”, the creation of a missionary school is being considered, combining theoretical contributions and practical work.

« We already have great experiences underway from which we can learn ”, says Father Meyer. He mentions the intergenerational space Saint-Julien, in the center of Laval, which plans to bring together in the same place crèche, reception of young people, home housing for the elderly, health center and solidarity café open to the city.

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