Archive, Letters

Episcopal Vicar for Synodality

To all believers, religious, and clergy in the Prelature of Trondheim,

I am writing to announce some good news: on 1 October Fr Ole Martin Stamnestrø will take up a position here in our Prelature for the duration of one year. I have appointed him Episcopal Vicar for Synodality.

What is that supposed to mean?

The background is my own appointment as Administrator of the Prelature of Tromsø. I need help during this time — and I thank Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo and Fr Ole Martin for heeding my request.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis likes to point out that the synodal process in which he invites us to take part seeks to learn from the Oriental Church’s experience of synodality. A qualified representative of that Church, Bishop Manel Nin, reminds us that the ‘shared journey’ at stake is not a matter merely of a crowd of believers going together for a walk in the woods, as it were, but that the Church — the ecclesia or called assembly — must walk together with Christ.

The chief task of an Episcopal Vicar for Synodality is thus to help the bishop ensure that everything that happens in the Prelature, in administration and pastoral care, is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and his Gospel, our source of new life. I rejoice that Fr Ole Martin will assist me and all of us in this capacity.

One of his tasks will be the launch of a pastoral council for the Prelature. Another will be to accompany our new brethren, the Priests of the Sacred Heart, as they seek to immerse themselves in Norwegian society and culture, a high priority. A third task will be to second me in various administrative jobs. He will also have other duties.

I know you will receive Fr Ole Martin warmly. Let us do what we can to walk faithfully and forcefully together while we seek to follow Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, wherever he goes (cf. Rev 14.4).

Trondheim, 19. September 2023

+fr Erik Varden ocso
Bishop of Trondheim &
Apostolic Administrator of the Prelature of Tromsø

Ona Fyr. Foto: Pål Johannes Nes.