On October 21, 2021, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Pope Francis called for a worldwide synodal process in all of the Catholic Church with the theme of “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.” Now, this process comes to our community.
Well, what is a synod and what would a synod on a synodal church be then? Synod is a Greek word that means assembly and it literally means "on the path together" or "journeying together." In the Catholic Church, a synod is an assembly of bishops meeting, discussing, and discerning on matters of importance. In the past, it has been the primary participatory instrument of consultation for the Pope with his bishops.
Now, this synod on a synodal church invites us to think of this term in a bigger sense: How are we all "journeying together" as the people of God, trying to figure out what the Spirit invites us to do? What experiences from the past infuse our understanding of dialogue, discernment, celebrating liturgies together, and consulting with each other? How are we being called by the Spirit to move into the future together?
We are meeting on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. on Zoom for Catholic Conversation: Community, Participation, and Mission, featuring the Archdiocesan coordinator of the synodal process, Karen Luna. We will hear more about what this process is and get our questions answered. On the following Thursdays, Feb. 10 and 17, we are hosting two Listening Sessions at 7 p.m. on Zoom to listen to all of the community. Faith Formation families will have separate listening session. After that, the notes from our sessions will be synthesized into one report for our parish. That report will move up the ranks and be synthesized with reports from other parishes all over the Archdiocese, the country, and all over the world, all the way to Rome.
All are welcome and truly now is the time to make our voices heard. The first listening session centers around our experiences from recent years of journeying together, good and bad. The second listening session focuses on what the Spirit might be calling us for in the future. Join us and make your voice heard, even if you can only make it to one of the sessions.
We invite you to partake in one, or all events; this is a truly historic moment in the life of the church and we hope you can join us in lifting our voices, "journeying together," and listening to one another.
- Dominik Gnirs
Associate Director of Faith Formation