People from around the Diocese are being appointed to assist in the upcoming Synod of Bishops, a worldwide listening process announced by Pope Francis.
The appointed “Ambassadors” – from parishes, schools, colleges, and various ministries — will help ensure that Catholics from every corner of the Diocese have the chance to be heard.
The Synod will begin with an opening Mass at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, celebrated by Bishop Alfred Schlert. The Mass will be livestreamed. Ambassadors will meet right after the Mass to hear more about how the listening process will take place, and about their role in it.
The idea of the Synod is to get feedback on issues important to the Catholic Church today. The information eventually will be used in a meeting of Bishops at the Vatican, and it also will be used by Bishop Schlert to plan how best to meet the needs of Catholics here in the five counties of the Diocese.
In addition to various types of meeting and listening sessions facilitated by the Ambassadors, any Catholic also can provide individual feedback in an online survey that will be released soon.
“The goal is to listen to all Catholics,” Bishop Schlert said, “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 throughout our Catholic faith.”
The Synod process should not be seen as a way to change established Church doctrine. Rather, it is a way for individuals to express positive and negative observations on aspects of the Church, and a way to help influence how the Church ministers to people in the Diocese and around the world.
The opening Mass of the Synod is open to all Catholics. For those who cannot attend in person, the livestream will be available here on AD Today, on the diocesan Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as on Service Electric Cable TV Channels 50 and 550.