With more than one hundred parish listening sessions completed and thousands of surveys received, the information-gathering phase of the Synod of Bishops in the Diocese of Allentown is drawing to a close.
Surveys will remain available through Easter, and anyone who still wishes to provide input is invited to do so here. A Spanish-language survey is available at www.AllentownDiocese.org/Synod.
Pope Francis announced the Synod last summer as a way to listen to Catholics and all people of good will around the world. He asked that all Bishops reach out to the faithful, including those who feel marginalized, disaffected, or distant from their faith or their relationship to the Church.
In the Diocese of Allentown, Bishop Alfred Schlert called for a robust process to gather input from people across the five counties of the Diocese.
The goal of the Synod, Bishop Schlert has said, 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.”
The Diocese appointed more than 200 Synod Ambassadors representing parishes, schools, and ministries. The Ambassadors organized much of the outreach process, including hosting listening sessions and informal conversations, summarizing the input, and reporting the results to the Diocese.
The information gathered in the Diocese of Allentown will be provided to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and summarized into a national report for Pope Francis, who will convene a meeting of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican in October 2023.
In addition to forwarding the feedback for eventual use at the Vatican, the Diocese of Allentown will use the input provided to help in meeting the spiritual and sacramental needs of Catholics here at home, Bishop Schlert said.