On January 17th, 2022, CICLSAL and the Synod of Bishops released a joint letter outlining how consecrated religious can participate in the synodal process. Signed by both Card. Braz de Aviz, prefect of CICLSAL, and Card. Grech, Secretary General of the Synod, the letter indicates it is a response to “some requests about your [religious] participation at the synodal journey.”

Affirming that consecrated men and women, as a part of the People of God, have the right and responsibility to participate in the synodal process, the letter outlines three mechanisms – two ordinary and one extraordinary – for the participation of religious in the synod.

The first ordinary way is participating in the local diocesan synodal process. Each religious belongs to a particular church which should be conducting their own synodal process. The letter thus asks consecrated religious to “give their contribution of prophecy and discernment first of all in the particular Churches where they are present,” to the extent granted by each group’s constitutions and feasible for the charism.

The second ordinary way is via internal congregational consultations. Although these consultations may be initiated by a union, federation, or conference, it is now the responsibility of each individual congregation to submit their results to the Synod by 30 June 2022.

The final, extraordinary way of participating is sending feedback directly to the Synod Secretariat.

Read the full letter: CICLSAL Letter on Participation of Consecrated Religious in the Synod on Synodality

On January 25th, CICLSAL also released a letter for the 26th Day of Consecrated Life. Focused on the second of the three synodal themes – participation – the letter “invites each of us to do our part, to participate.”

The letter exhorts religious to deeply enter into the synodal process, bringing their entire selves as part of the Church, to listen with the rest of the People of God.

Let us enter into this journey of the whole Church, with the richness of our charisms and our lives, without hiding fatigue and wounds, strong in the conviction that we can only receive and give that which is Good because “Consecrated life is born in the Church, it grows and can bear evangelical fruit only in the Church, in the living communion of the faithful People of God (Pope Francis, 11 December 2021).

Read the letter on the 26th Day of Consecrated Life.