Are You Listening?
By now you’ve heard about the Synod of Bishops that Pope Francis convoked on October 10 with a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. If you haven’t done so already, it’s also likely that this Advent you will participate in a focus group, listening session, or online survey, wrestling with the questions the Holy Father has all of us seeking to answer. “A Synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, ‘journeys together,’” says the synod’s preparatory document. “How is this ‘journeying together’ happening today in your local Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take to grow in ‘journeying together?’”
A flood of synod documents arrived in dioceses all over the world. Teams and committees prepared packets, devised formats, and trained facilitators. Clergy and religious and lay leaders are calling people together to listen to each other. It’s a lot of hard work and effort, time well spent.
With the convocation of the synod and its implementation, the Church has already changed, and the Holy Spirit has been called to action in a dramatic way. Just a short span of time into the synod process, I offer these observations…