Thank you to the many hundreds of people who engaged in the work of the Synod by sharing their faith, hopes, and dreams for the Church!
We began our synodal journey in the fall of 2021, with the announcement that Pope Francis had called for a synod in the Church, with the theme: “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission.” During the fall and winter, we shared information on the upcoming “Synod on Synodality” as well as background on the history of synods and the concept of “synodality” in the Church.
In January of 2022, a “Committee for Synodality” was formed, including more than 20 parishioners from both parishes as well as Collaborative Staff, to take on the work of organizing the synodal journey for the Collaborative. In February, we held a “Synod Launch” weekend, during which our celebrants focused their homilies on the meaning and history of ‘synodality’ and what it means for us and for our Church, and our bulletin was dedicated to explaining how the ‘Synod on Synodality’ would be unfolding at our Collaborative. We also launched a robust online presence via our website and social media platforms to share information about the Synod here at the Collaborative, within the Archdiocese of Boston, and around the world.
Our 2022 Lenten Program was designed to help prepare us for our journey and lead us into the “Intentional Listening Phase” during the Easter Season. A centerpiece of this program was our Community Read and Lecture Series on Pope Francis’ book, Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future, which contained many revelations for those wishing to understand Pope Francis’ emphasis on synodality.
The listening phase of our journey began in April on Easter Sunday, with the release of the first of six separate “Question of the Week” cards. These questions could be answered by filling out the paper cards and dropping them in the boxes at the churches or via our online portal. The listening phase also included a number of Intentional Listening Sessions (both in-person and via Zoom), as well as an online version of our Intentional Listening Session to allow participants to respond remotely and anonymously. During this phase, we endeavored to engage those within our Collaborative community and those in the larger community through the bulletin, email, our website and social media, and local media. Large banners were placed on the grounds of both parishes, prominently featuring the Synod logo, our website address, and the tagline “Feeling disconnected from the Church? We want to hear from you!”
At the conclusion of the listening phase in early June, we began the process of synthesizing the responses.
In July of 2022 we completed the synthesis phase, sharing the fruits of our listening sessions, online responses, and Question of the Week cards in our SJSP Collaborative Synod Synthesis Report, which was submitted to the Archdiocese of Boston and the Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops.
In October of 2023 and in October of 2024, all the bishops will meet in a formal synod process to engage with the documents from around the world.
We must understand, though, that this is not a synod with a simple beginning, middle, and end. Instead, as Fr. Jim explained to us when we began this process, we are called to continue to gather the fruits of what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, and to put synodality – speaking boldly, listening deeply, and including all – into practice in our parishes and in our Church from now on!
Stay tuned for continued updates in the months ahead!
Latest News and Updates
Message from the General Secretariat of the Synod on the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council
Our Collaborative Synod Synthesis Report Submitted to the Archdiocese of Boston and the Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops.
A Message from Fr. Jim on Synodality
“Dear brothers and sisters, let us have a good journey together! May we be pilgrims in love with the Gospel and open to the surprises of the Holy Spirit.”pope francis
My dear friends in Christ,
With this “Synod on Synodality”, Pope Francis is calling all of us, the entire People of God, to journey together! This is a journey of encounter, of listening and discerning with the whole Church. It is about listening deeply and allowing all voices to be heard, especially those on the margins. This is what it means to be the Body of Christ.
The term, “synod” is unfamiliar to many of us, and can be confusing. The word derives from an ancient Greek term that means “coming together” or “traveling together.” Simply put, as Pope Francis has described, “a synodal Church is a Church which listens.” Let us not be intimidated by the language, but focused on walking together, speaking boldly, listening deeply, and holding the tension that exists when we ourselves may not have answers or consolation.
This is a completely unique and unprecedented opportunity. Unlike past synods, this is not simply a discussion for the hierarchy, or for those on the inside – Pope Francis is calling all of us to express our faith, our hopes, and our dreams for the Church.
During the Easter season, our Collaborative is offering many ways to engage in the work of the synod, including in-person and virtual listening sessions (see posted schedule) that will allow each of us the opportunity to share our own stories and listen deeply to each other. We also encourage you to engage each week with our Question of the Week, and to use the questions to engage with family and friends who are disconnected from the church to help us extend our reach.
In early summer, our Synod Committee will share the fruits of that listening with the Diocese and the Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops. We must understand, though, that this is not a synod with a simple beginning, middle, and end; instead, we are called to continue to gather the fruits of what the Holy Spirit is saying to us, and to put synodality into practice from now on.
Yours in Christ,
“Let us not miss out on the grace-filled opportunities born of encounter, listening and discernment. In the joyful conviction that, even as we seek the Lord, he always comes with his love to meet us first.”Pope Francis