Synod of the Family

Synod on the Family    
2014-2015: The Path of the Synod on the Family

Pope Francis called for Family Synods; an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops which took place between 5-19 October 2014 and Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops to be held between 4 – 25 October 2015 

The October 4-25 synod will have the theme: “The vocation and mission of the family in the church and the modern world.”

A Prayer for the Family Synod. 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendour of true love, to Synod on the familyyou we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection and division: may all who have been hurt or scandalised find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth, may the approaching Synod of Bishops make us once more mindful of the sacredness of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, graciously hear our prayer. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


The Synod of Bishops XIV Ordinary General Assembly takes place in Rome from 4th – 25th October this year. The Synod will focus on ‘the vocation and mission of the family in the church and the contemporary world’. 

In order to support this important gathering, the Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council (ACMFC) has distributed a prayer card to Dioceses as a resource for parishes, schools, agencies and other Catholic organisations and groups. These will be in the Diocese shortly.

Further reading about the Synod can be found at here.

Early in 2015, Bishop Paul Bird wrote to the people of the Diocese regarding the Synod on the Family that will be held in Rome in October this year.  Bishop Paul wrote that "Pope Francis has encouraged us all to share our reflections on issues of marriage and family life in preparation for this synod. I am inviting people from around our diocese to express their views so that our diocese will make a helpful contribution to the synod."

Two documents were attached to Bishop Paul's letter, the first being published by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops in Rome. This document was made up of the final report from the synod that was held last year together with a series of questions that were meant to foster further reflection on issues raised at that synod. The second document gave a brief series of 30 questions. These questions had been prepared in Australia to encourage responses from a wide range of people in our communities. These 30 questions will provide a framework for gathering responses from Australia which can then form part of a worldwide response in preparation for this year’s synod. 

People from around the Diocese responded to these questions.  The responses made by parishes or a group/organisation can be found below for your interest.

St Augustine's Parish Maryborough

St Columba's Parish Ballarat North

St Mary's Parish Colac

Our Lady's Parish Merbein

Mercy Associates Ballarat East

Exodus Community

Cathedral Parish Ballarat

OLHC Parish Wendouree

Families Response

St Patrick's Parish Gordon