Weekly Reflections for January 16, 2022


Synod.  It is an unusual word, rarely, if ever, part of our vocabulary. Yet it is a significant term in the Roman Catholic Church. The word itself is of Greek origin, meaning “journey together.” In our Church, it denotes both an event and a process where clergy, religious, and laity assemble to discuss important matters of faith. Since 1967, the popes have assembled together eighteen times. As a result, the Church emerges different and changed.

This past October, Pope Francis initiated the biggest renewal effort in our Church in sixty years. In the past, several laities were invited to speak to the bishops. 

However, this time, Pope Francis has expanded the listening process to include every Catholic in the world. After two years of ‘listening, discussion, and discernment,’ the bishops will gather in Rome in October of 2023 for the culmination of the process. Never before has a synod sought the input of every Catholic. The synod has arrived at Prince of Peace and St. Francis de Sales parishes. In the next few months, you will be invited to share your thoughts on our church, its strengths, its weaknesses, and your vision of the church’s future. The topic of discussion is as fundamental as, “How can we best journey together as a faith community?”

The “Listening Sessions” will take many forms and will be available in many ways. Look for more details in the upcoming weeks. Once you decide on which option you prefer, take time in thoughtful prayer to contemplate your response. And then participate!

Pope Francis has invited every Catholic to give their input. He has asked to hear your thoughts. The Church is listening, and now it is up to all of us. The church is calling on all of us; not just a few chosen parishioners, but every Catholic; the one in the pew for daily mass, the one in the pew for Sunday mass, the one who is seen twice a year, and the one who is no longer seen at church.

Let the Holy Spirit inspire us as it guides this process. May it result in a synodal Church founded on communion, participation, and mission.

– By Patrick J. Perkins