Post Synod thoughts of Margaret Karram

On 6th November, at the first session of the Training Course on Synodality, offered by the Evangleii Gaudium Centre of Sophia University Institute, Margaret Karram, President of the Focolare Movement, shared her experience of the Synod and its transformative impact on her life. We are publishing a summary. The complete lesson can be viewed here:

As a special guest, a laywoman, and President of a Movement, Margaret Karram emphasized the significance of the participation and integration of the laity in the Synod. Fifty four women had voting rights. This marked an historic moment in the Church. The Synod’s central focus on the Church’s missionary profile, where lay faithful play a vital role, resonated strongly.

Margaret described her profound Synod experience with the words Silence, Listening, Sharing and Conversion. The Synod used the method of “conversation in the Spirit,” fostering deep listening, mutual understanding and silence in order to enable the Holy Spirit to act. This experience instilled in her a new love for all the members of the Church.

She reflected on the Synod’s openness to diverse voices, mentioning the discussions on migrants, disability, and youth, highlighting a dedicated space for the role of women in the Church. The summary report expresses a common desire for men and women to dialogue without subordination, exclusion or competition.

The outbreak of conflict in Margaret’s home country, the Holy Land, during the Synod intensified her experience, emphasizing the Church’s commitment to praying for peace in troubled regions. Margaret said that she believes that the Synod’s style of communion can renew the Church internally and serve as a model for addressing global conflicts through attentive listening, sharing, and constructive dialogue.

She concluded by emphasizing the importance of conversion and the need for laypeople to increase attentive listening and constructive dialogue in everyday life. She was edified by the “holiness of the Church” which she saw in priests, religious, and bishops who dedicate their lives to serving their communities. The primary task of the Synod, as stated by the Pope, is to refocus on God and be a Church that looks with mercy upon humanity, a gift that Margaret intends to live and share as she said, “This is precisely the greatest gift that I take away with me and want to live out: to direct my eyes to God, who for us in the Focolare Movement, those who live the spirituality of unity, is Jesus on the cross, Jesus Crucified and Forsaken who cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” (Mk 15:34) Without Him there is no full communion and the conflicts, tragedies and absurdities that the world experiences today are meaningless”.

Watch the entire lesson (in English) here. Margaret’s input is at 55 min