In recent weeks, several people have asked me about the synod that has been called for by Pope Francis. The word “synod” means “assembly”; historically, synods, or assemblies, of bishops have been called together by various Popes through the years to discuss issues of importance in the life of the Church. The current synod that people have been asking about is a Synod on Synodality. (“Synodality” is aptly defined as “walking together.”) In this synod, not only the bishops, but all Catholics, are being called to discern how we can best “walk together” in the way of Christ. The three focal points of the discussion are communion, participation, and mission.
How can we participate in this worldwide process of discernment? I refer you to this page of the website of our diocese: rcbo.org/synod There you will find some general background on the history of synods, a special message from Bishop Vann, and asurvey-type section in which you can submit to the diocese your thoughts on our journey together in communion, participation, and mission. Your input will be valuable to the diocese, which will send a synthesis of the input to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The U.S. Bishops will in turn produce a document on the nationwide level, which will go to the Holy See.
As Bishop Vann exhorts us, let’s all pray for this synod, that the Holy Spirit may guide us in our journey together: a journey of communion, participation, and mission.