We can only grow together, if we listen to each other and we can only grow together, if we can speak with candor and love. Pope Francis knows that and he has called the whole church to listen to all the faithful on how we walk together as church.
This process has come to St. Monica this year in February and March. Together, we had listening sessions for anyone who would like to join as well as listening sessions in our parish council, MOMs ministry, YMA, faith formation and in the High School. More than 200 people from our community heeded the call to come and share, to say what is important, but also to listen to each other in groups. A great thank you to all the facilitators and notetakers that made this possible and especially to our reporters Kitty and Elizabeth, who synthesized the notes into reports.
By now in October 2022, the diocesan, regional and national phase of the Synod Process have completed. Each one of them have produced published reports that synthesized the findings that were aggregated at a lower level. You would think that such a process of summarizing the summary of a summary might water down results, but quite the opposite has happened. The resulting reports seem to truly crystallize where the church is at and reflect truthfully the hopes, dreams, worries and concerns of most Catholics.
We are looking forward to continue to foster a culture of listening to one another, as a community. We are also looking forward to the continuation of the synodal process up, which leads to Rome and a Synod of the Pope and Bishops in 2023. We are eager to hear what Pope Francis and the Bishops will conclude from all those voices. Stay tuned. Explore below regarding the Synodal process at St. Monica and the reports on all levels.
-Dominik Gnirs, Assoc. Director of Faith Formation
Thank you to all our volunteers that aided in capturing the voices of all of our parishioners within the Synodal Process at St. Monica !
Vicky Landin, Teresa Cordeiro, Bonnie Crocker, Peter Heller, Elizabeth Johnstone, Roland Labana, Nicole Gilbert, Jakub Hlvaka, and Emily Arazawa.
Lynn Kurata, Olivia Noronha, Chris Nakagawa, Maria Lingbanan, Kelly Brooks, Lisa Berkshire, Rose Ryder, and Diane Gasper.
Elizabeth Johnstone and Kitty Felde
This report comes in two parts: The first part is the report submitted to the Archdiocese in the format provided by the Archdiocese. This report had to be short to fit the format and it gives for each of the areas the highlights and common themes from the conversations. Yet, it also gives voice for the minority of comments, the ones that “varied from the majority," because we don’t want to forget those voices and what they have to tell us.
The second part of the report contains more comments and voices and many of these are very specific to our community and need local context to be understood. It would not have made sense to include them in a report that will be synthesized with other parishes’ reports. Yet, we want to share these voices, hear them, ponder them and use them to move forward as a community. That is why we are publishing this second part here:
Los Angeles is the largest diocese in the US with 288 parishes, many schools and Eastern Rite Churches that are in union with the Catholic Church. Nearly 19,000 individuals participated in many listening sessions, making their voices heard on the church they love and sometimes struggle with. The result is a report that voices many concerns on how we welcome people, care for them and what we can do better especially for those who are marginalized in our communities and church.
It is not a well-known fact that for administrative and pastoral purposes, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops divided the country into pastoral regions. For the purpose of the synod process, each region synthesized the reports from the dioceses within the region to publish a common report. This report from our part of the country gives us the voices of the southern West Coast and Nevada.
The product of about 30,000 listening sessions with about 700,000 individuals is this report. It reflects the concerns and hopes of so many Catholics in the United States. It shows us how united we are in the things we care for as a church and as a people. This is the report that will drive the process further in concert with all the reports from other parts of the world. If you can only read one report, read this one:
Presented: Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022
Karen shared with us the Archdiocesan Synodal process and how this process is an invitation for communities to become a people that "journey together" and she answers the questions: What is synodality and what it can look like in our communities and everyday life. The entire sessions is available to view above.
"Journeying together" is understood as listening to each other, celebrating, mission-driven, discernment-based, full participation, consultation, and dialogue.
Conducted: Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022
Listening session agenda: How have we been "journeying together" as a church in recent years? We are looking for concrete examples of fruitful experiences as well as examples of what has hindered the process of "journeying together." We invite you to share positive experiences and bring to light challenging and negative experiences.
Conducted: Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022
Listening session agenda: How might the Holy Spirit be inviting our Church to "journey together" more fully in the coming years? What are your hopes for the Church to live in deeper unity, to promote participating, and to proclaim the Gospel? We ask for concrete examples.
*Click the image above for the Listening Sessions Guide.
Archdiocesan Website on the Synod Process: https://synod.lacatholics.org/
USCCB website on the Synod Process: https://www.usccb.org/synod
Vatican website on the Synod Process: https://www.synod.va/en.html