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Welcome to the website of the Diocese of Cork and Ross and its section devoted to the Synodal Pathway

Pope Francis has convened a special Synod to take place in 2023.

The aim of this synodal process is not to provide a temporary or one-time experience of synodality, but rather to provide an opportunity for the entire People of God to discern together how to move forward on the path towards being a more synodal Church in the long-term.

Ireland is also participating in a national Synodal Journey. The two pathways converge on the same theme. In Diocese of Cork and Ross conversations have commenced, with clergy initially, around discerning a way forward as we grow together as a faith community.

Until now, for several reasons, it has not been possible to engage at a diocesan level with the Synodal Process. I have invited Ms. Elizabeth Garry Brosnan, an experienced facilitator, to support our Diocesan process. Elizabeth will be assisted by a group which includes:

  • Elaine O’Sullivan Chaplain MICC. Dunmanway
  • Fr. John Heinhold CC. Bantry
  • Mr. John McCarthy Chairperson of Clonakilty Parish Pastoral Council
  • Edel Kelly Co-ordinator of Pastoral Care, Munster Technological University
  • Sr. Mary Usifoh OLA. Mission and Vocation Animation Coordinator Ardfoyle Sisters

Central to our journey is prayer, listening and relationship. Pope Francis tells us that “What the Lord is asking of us is already in some sense present in the very word ‘synod’. Journeying together”.

I ask that the priests of the diocese along with our parishioners and religious communities would help to make the month of May a special month throughout the diocese in relation to this synodal journey.  During May we will answer together the central question, ‘what is God asking of the faith community at this time?’

In Cork and Ross, there will be three ways to which people will be invited to contribute:

  • We are gathering representatives from a random sample of 24 parishes across the Diocese to pray, listen and discern at two facilitated Sunday afternoon meetings in May (these parishes will be notified seprately)
  • We are inviting everyone to respond to an online questionnaire which is anonymous and can be filled in from home, by individuals or by a family or a community. It is at
  • There will also be focussed discussions with small groups, e.g. womens’ groups, social action groups, young people etc.

The responses from these three pathways will be collated and a summary document will be submitted to the national gathering which takes place in June 2022 in which a national document will be prepared for submission to the Synod in Rome in 2023.

I ask you to promote this synodal journey, to pray for it, to assist people in understanding what it is about, and to encourage as many people as possible to be involved.
I appreciate that the time-frame is narrow but this is also a special opportunity for us all to discern what the ‘Spirit is saying to the churches’ this Easter time.
With renewed prayerful good wishes as we continue our Easter journey.

Bishop Fintan Gavin

Bishop FIntan GavinBishop FIntan Gavin
(Diocese of Cork & Ross)

Prayer for the Synod

We stand before You, Holy Spirit,

as we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us,

make Yourself at home in our hearts;

Teach us the way we must go

and how we are to pursue it.


We are weak and sinful;

do not let us promote disorder.

Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path

nor partiality influence our actions.

Let us find in You our unity

so that we may journey together to eternal life

and not stray from the way of truth

and what is right.


All this we ask of You,

who are at work in every place and time,

in the communion of the Father and the Son,

forever and ever.



Find out more May 2022