Church in Malta commits to five-year grassroots 'process of ecclesial renewal'

Church in Malta commits to five-year grassroots “process of ecclesial renewal”

The Church in Malta has committed to a five-year grassroots “process of ecclesial renewal”, inspired, it said, by “Pope Francis’ insistence that the Church must initiate life-giving processes in a spirit of discernment and constant dialogue”.

Archbishop Charles Scicluna formally launched the process Sunday on the feast of the Holy Trinity with the presentation of the document ‘One Church, One Journey’, which he said “is a hopeful vision for the Church in Malta and initiates a process of renewal inspired by this hope”.

‘One Church, One Journey’ is the fruit of consultations for over a year with priests, religious and laity and commits “all parishes, schools, religious congregations, lay movements, ministries of service, and every other Catholic entity in Malta” to an “eightfold process of ecclesial reform [that] leads from spiritual renewal to pastoral action”:

Those eight steps are as follows:

  • Encountering Christ
  • Evangelisation and diakonia
  • A Holy People of God
  • Ecclesial dynamics
  • A missioned people
  • Ecclesial spaces in Malta
  • Pastoral priorities
  • A discerning process

The goal with ‘One Church, One Journey’ is to focus each year between 2020 and 2024 on the foundations of prayer and discernment and on one of the four verbs that characterise the mission of the local Church:

The reform process will culminate in a diocesan assembly in 2024 to attune the local Church more faithfully to its particular gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit “and to discern the call to do greater things in Christ’s name”.

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Full text of Archbishop Scicluna’s presentation of ‘One Church, One Journey’

(Source: Archdiocese of Malta)

It is with great joy that today, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, I am formally launching the document ‘One Church, One Journey’. The document is a hopeful vision for the Church in Malta and initiates a process of renewal inspired by this hope. 

I am grateful to all those who contributed to bringing this document to life, which has also been revised after the sudden changes that we all experienced during these past months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘One Church, One Journey’ offers a vision of becoming “church” rooted in that promoted by Pope Francis, in particular in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium.

Its presentation of a process of renewal is a local interpretation of the Pope’s own desire for renewal for the universal Church. The document also indicates the specific processes that the Archdiocese is committing itself to start and implement in these next four years.

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I call upon all entities of the Church in Malta – parishes, religious congregations, schools, lay movements, families and all others – to be imbued by the spirit of this vision and to journey together as one Church on this process of discernment.

The renewal that we all hope for is not something being “imposed from above”, but will flourish organically, in all sectors of the Church, as it grows and unfolds in its many aspects.

As from today, this document is accessible online on the website of the Archdiocese of Malta www.church.mt. I invite you all to read through it and to reflect on it personally and in your small communities so we all participate in and contribute to this process of ecclesial renewal.

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Enlightened and led by the one Spirit, as one Pilgrim People, we will continue writing the story of our local Church that began when St Paul the Apostle himself, was welcomed on our shores. Always grateful that he brought to us the Word of salvation, we ask for his intercession to continue protecting our country and the Church in Malta.

June 7 2020, St. Paul’s Grotto, Rabat, Malta

More on Novena on the Church in Malta:

Synod Pro-Secretary warns Church against “suicide” of returning to old pastoral models post-COVID-19

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Cameron Doody

Director and editor at Novena
PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. Lecturer in ethics at Loyola University Maryland, Alcalá de Henares (Spain) campus. Religion journalist with 4 years experience.