Fr Paul Gary addresses the parish:
Pope Francis announced the Sixteenth Ordinary Synod of Bishops which began in 2021 and will culminate in 2023 in Rome. The papal theme for the Synod is to become a Synodal Church through Communion, Participation, and Mission. We journey as a Church together, all of us - Pope, bishops, clergy, parishes, schools, Catholic organizations, and with those on the margins. Christ's mission can only be accomplished by all of us, collaborating together to make the Gospel heard in our time.
Pope Francis has given us an extraordinary opportunity. He wants to hear from every part of the Church throughout the world - those committed to the Church, those who have left the Church, never been part of the Church and who feel unwelcomed. Each of us at St Luke is being asked to join in and participate in this historic, global process - particularly by attending one of the Listening Sessions being organized.
This page will have resources, information, prayers, FAQ and more! Please visit often to stay up to date.
The Diocesan phase in which we will be able to reflect locally and give feedback to the Diocese.
Nov. 13-14, 2021: Letter by Bishop Peter J. Jugis is read at Masses
Nov. 15, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021: Preparation of local gatherings of all the diocesan groups
Jan. 1, 2022 – April 30, 2022: Local gatherings of all the diocesan groups
The Continental phase in which all dioceses will synthesize feedback and send a report to the Bishops' Conference in Washington, D.C. (USCCB).
June 11, 2022: Common gathering of all the diocesan groups’ representatives
June 30, 2022: Diocese of Charlotte synthesis is sent to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
The universal phase, which will be the actual Synod of bishops in Rome in October 2023.
The parish hosted 7 synod sessions in February of 2022.
At a glance:
6 were in person - 1 was virtual
6 were in English - 1 was in Spanish
some were evening, day, weekend
some groups of parishioners independently hosted sessions
Over the course of the Listening Sessions, one hundred and eight people participated. Approximately, 80% of the participants were over 65 years of age. The other 20% were in their 30 to 40s range. While the number of participants was small, the discussions were enthusiastic and overall represented a reasonable and realistic sampling of the congregation’s joys, concerns, strengths, and liabilities as we walk into the future together. The discussions centered around the 3 following questions:
#1: For the common good of our parish, how are you living the gospel?
In Communion. Listening to God and one another?
With Participation. What are your joys, challenges, and concerns for our parish?
In Mission. How do you participate in our parish’s missions? What are the fruits and blessings? Concerns, struggles, and frustrations?
#2: As we walk together into the future as a parish, how are we walking together?
Do we use methods of listening and speaking (consultation) to make decisions about pastoral and financial needs?
Do we actively invite and integrate all baptized Catholics into our parish? All baptized includes youth, young people, families, single, divorced, people with disabilities, and multi-cultures.
What empowers us to walk together? What prevents us? What hinders us?
What actions do you hear the Holy Spirit asking our parish?
#3: How are we “walking together” as the Catholic Church?
What steps does the Holy Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our journey together as the Universal Church?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are some of the FAQs about the Synod and the process:
What is a synod?
A synod is a gathering of bishops (usually every 2-3 years) that helps the Church to walk forward together in the same direction. This synod on synodality is unique because it is a two-year process for the entire baptized People (not just bishops).
What is synodality?
The Greek word synodos means “to be on the journey together.” The Holy Father has clearly communicated that a synodality does not involve changing “traditional truths of Christian doctrine”; rather, it is concerned with “how teaching can be lived and applied in the changing contexts of our times.” “Synodality is the way of being the church today according to the will of God, in a dynamic of discerning and listening together to the voice of the Holy Spirit.”
How can I participate?
Our goal is to reach as many people as possible (everyone) by participation in various listening sessions. A listening session is where the church’s leadership listens to you. We will have opportunities for you to be involved in person, online, during the day or evening, and on a weekend. If none of the times work for you, members of our team are open to meet with you by appointment. Lastly, we want to hear every voice, so we’ll also be creating an opportunity to submit written responses as an alternative. Listening Sessions will take place in February.
What is a Listening Session going to be like?
The entire parish is invited to attend one of our Listening Sessions with a special session for our Hispanic Community in Spanish. Each session will have a facilitator and recording team. Participants will be invited to join in moderated group discussion to offer their thoughtful response to our questions. Individuals and group "summarizers" may come forward to share their discussion synopsis with a larger group. The recorded conversations will not have any names attached, just the main ideas discussed.
What will be discussed?
The Pope is asking us to consider the questions: How do we as a parish proclaim the Gospel as we walk together into our future? What kind of parish do we want to be and become? It all begins by listening not only to each other, but also to the Spirit. This emphasis on the Spirit is a distinctive element of the Pope’s vision of synodality, as we live in epochal change.