The Pope Wants to Hear from Catholics Around the World, and the Listening Process is About to Begin

The Holy Father wants to hear from you.

Pope Francis has announced a Synod of Bishops and called on each Bishop around the world to listen to members of their flock – including those who are marginalized or who have fallen away from the Church -- and get their feedback on issues important to the Catholic Church today.

In the Diocese of Allentown, the process will begin with an opening Mass at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena in Allentown. Each diocese throughout the world will celebrate its opening Mass on that day.

The local listening process, which is still being designed, will last for about six months. Feedback from the people of the Diocese of Allentown will then be sent to Rome for use in later phases of the Synod, which will culminate with a meeting of Bishops at the Vatican in October 2023.

Bishop Alfred Schlert has asked the Pastor of each parish in the Diocese to name three parishioners to help design and facilitate the Synod listening process. Those “Diocesan Ambassadors” will attend the opening Mass, and in a meeting with the Bishop immediately afterward, will begin discussing how best to get feedback from people throughout the Diocese.

“The Holy Father wants to know how Catholics experience and express their faith in these challenging times,” Bishop Schlert said. “The goal is to listen to all Catholics, wherever they find themselves in their faith journey or relationship to the Church, so that, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we may discern the best ways of addressing the challenges we face as a world and work together on a path of healing and unity through our Catholic faith.”

Bishop Schlert has appointed a Diocesan Working Group of clergy, religious, and lay members of the diocesan leadership team. The parishioners selected by their Pastors will assist the Diocesan Working Group in making sure the listening process, when it begins, is thorough and inclusive.

Watch for more details on the Synod of Bishops, including how you can make your opinion known, in future issues of AD Today and the AD Times.


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