Synodal Listening Session – Online Version

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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,
Fr. Jim

“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

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