Ningbo (Agenzia Fides) - With theology courses, prayers for the Synod and the dissemination of information material through social networks, the Catholic communities in the People's Republic of China are preparing to participate "remotely" in the upcoming XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church, which is dedicated to the theme "For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission". With a view to the imminent opening of the Synodal Assembly on October 4th (the feast of St. Francis of Assisi), initiatives are increasing throughout the country with which the Catholic communities in China share in the synodal path of the entire Catholic Church under the given conditions. Last but not least, the announcement of the participation of two Chinese bishops in the synod with "papal appointment (Anthony Yao Shun, Bishop of Jining/Wumeng, and Joseph Yang Yongqiang, Bishop of Zhoucun) aroused the particular interest of the Chinese communities in the work of the upcoming Synodal Assembly. Following this announcement, the most popular Chinese-language Catholic website xinde.org published a long presentation on the history of the Synod of Bishops with detailed references to the Second Vatican Council and explanations of terminology (see 什么是“世界主教会议” ？_信德文化学会_信德网 xinde.org). The "prayer for the Synod" in Chinese was also published on the site (see 为10月举行的世界主教代表会议的代祷文、信友祷词及弥撒礼成降福_信德文化学会_信德网xinde.org). In the Diocese of Ningbo (Zhejiang Province), a theology course began on September 23 at the diocesan educational center, dealing with the synod and synodality as a dynamic of ecclesial life.
The first lessons were attended by about eighty participants (priests, nuns and lay people) interested in implementing the synodal path in the everyday life of their parishes and communities. Bishop Francis Xavier Jin Yangke encouraged those present to devote themselves to deepening the sacramental sources of community, mission and ecclesial responsibility and then drawing from these sources to overcome problems that arise in the life and leadership of church communities. The course participants thanked them for the initiative and want to apply what they have learned in the communities in order to walk the path of proclaiming the Gospel together in following Jesus and in a common dedication to missionary work. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 27/9/2023)