The Synod on Synodality: A Time to Listen
What is a synod?
A synod is a meeting or a gathering of bishops. In 2023 there will be a Synod of Bishops in Rome on the subject of Synodality (or "journeying together"). In preparation for that Synod, there is a diocesan phase and a national phase. What we are doing between now and June 2022 is the diocesan phase.
What happens during the diocesan phase?
During this phase, we will be hosting listening sessions and sending surveys to get a sense of how people journey together in the Church, that is, how they walk with other people and how they are helped (or not helped) by the Church. These listening sessions are focused on the experience of our people, not on ideas or abstract concepts.
What happens with the information from the listening sessions?
From our listening sessions, we will develop a synthesis that will go to the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), which will synthesize all the contributions from dioceses across the U.S. The Vatican will then take all the contributions from across the world and use them to create a preparatory document for the Synod of Bishops in 2023.
Does this mean we have to wait until 2023 to do something?
No, it certainly does not. We are asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help us take the next step forward. If there are major themes that emerge from these listening sessions, then we will follow the Spirit's lead and pray for the guidance to respond. We are really depending on the guidance of the Holy Spirit for this process.
Final Executive Summary
The Executive Summary of our final synthesis is now available. Click here to read what we discovered after hosting over 25 listening sessions and receiving feedback through our online survey. Thank you to all those who participated in charity in this synodal process.