Image credit: David Gibson

Benvenuti! I am in Rome with a group of Fordham students who are learning first-hand about the Synod on Synodality that Pope Francis is leading during this month of October. The very term “synodality” can seem, as Francis himself said, “like something abstruse, self-referential, excessively technical, of little interest to the general public.” But, he continued, “what has happened over the past year, which will continue with the assembly in October and then with the second stage of Synod 2024, is something truly important for the Church.”

Indeed, it is important, historic even. Cardinal Blase Cupich spoke to our Fordham group on this Monday, October 16, during a break in the deliberations and told them that they would one day look back upon this time the way his generation looked at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). 

The eleven Fordham students on this week-long visit have been learning about synodality as part of their course, led by Professor Vanessa Rotondo, called “Church on the GO: Theology in a Global Synod.” We are also accompanied by Michael Lee, director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, and John Cecero, SJ, vice-president for Mission and Ministry

The classroom is one thing, but as everyone we have spoken with here has said, synodality is above all about experiences and relationships. That is why the CRC’s Sapientia blog will be dedicated in the coming days to regular posts from our students who will convey their impressions and experiences as they watch history unfold.

David Gibson is a journalist, author, filmmaker, and Director of the Center on Religion and Culture.