A Diocesan Synod: Listening to One Another
Last week was the Sunday of the Word of God. We reflected on how we are all called to listen to the Word of God and to live by it.
We are also called to listen to one another. We do this out of Christian love and respect, and with an ear to how to serve one another better as Church. To this end, Bishop McElroy, following the lead of Pope Francis, has called us to prepare for a Diocesan Synod to discern the path forward in the mission of our Church. The goal is to increase our listening to the needs of the people and hopefully improve our outreach efforts. As he says, we don’t know what the outcome will be, there may be some surprises!
Each parish will have a coordinator. The plan is to have registration in February (so we know how many people will attend and can plan accordingly) and then the actual parish gatherings would be in March: for our parish, probably one in English and one in Spanish. There will be a video presentation, then we break up into small groups for discussion (with facilitators) centered around three main questions. Then we have to review the findings and discern what our next steps are; we also report the findings to the diocese so they can also take the next steps.
The method of “synodality” as it is called, is the listen to the needs of the people: not just their whims and desires, but their true heartfelt spiritual needs and concerns. As mentioned above (and last weekend), all should listen first to the Word of God before they speak out, whether in the synod process, or in any of our conversations with one another!
Besides the parish gatherings, the Diocese will also reach out to other groups, with a goal to reach those who may normally be living in the margins of church life and ministry.
Do you have any questions about the upcoming Synod? Or about the Catholic faith, or our Parish? You can email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fr. Brian Hayes. Pastor