The Parish Synod Process, in preparation for the next Synod of Bishops (2023), begins this week. The first of three planned listening sessions is scheduled for Saturday, January 8th, at 9 am (English) and 11 am (en español) at the Parish Hall (2355 Monroe Avenue).
Bishop Soto on the Diocesan Phase of the Synod on Synodality:
“On Sunday, October 17, 2021, we joined dioceses throughout the world in preparing for next the Synod of Bishops 2023. Pope Francis’ synodal initiative supports our own efforts to grow in holiness together as I proposed in my pastoral letter, Call to Holiness. At the heart of the Holy Father’s proposal and our work in the diocese is the dynamic engagement of the parish pastoral councils. The convening and conversations of parish pastoral councils will be essential to initial diocesan phase of the two-year synodal process. As parish diocesan councils do their work, together with their pastors, I encourage you to be open to as many people as possible, the active members, the lapsed members of our parish communities, non-Catholic neighbors from the communities surrounding the parish, as well as the poor and the marginalized neighbors. Let's look upon it as an invitation to all of us, the People of God in this diocese, to examine how our pastoral councils serve Christ and the missionary mandate of the gospel he has entrusted to us. Let us also dream about the missionary Church the Holy Spirit is calling us to become.”
Bishop Soto expects each parish council chairperson to organize listening sessions in the parish in accordance with the synodal process between November 2021 and February 1, 2022.
Agenda of a listening session:
- Opening prayer (synod prayer)
- Introductions of participants
- Introductory videos on the synod and short version of methodology of the session Watch/download English intro video: https://vimeo.com/638261331
Watch/download Spanish intro video: https://vimeo.com/638262089
- Ground rules (Prayer, Respect, Trust, Listening, Sharing, Discernment)
- Introduce facilitator and identify note taker
- Biblical Image: Read scripture, Broad description of the encounter, Silent Reflection on Biblical Image
- Reflection Questions, Silent reflection, Sharing, Silence, Silence
- Next steps: 10-page summary of all diocesan listening session goes to the USCCB and concludes the diocesan phase of the synod on synodality
- Closing prayer
Duration of a consultation session: Overall, two hours; spend 30 minutes on introductions and prayer, one hour on questions 1-2, after an extended pause move to questions 3-4 for the next 30 minutes.