The Synod is a 3-year archdiocesan process of consultation and prayerful listening to help church leaders focus on the needs of the community and to chart a course for addressing those needs by discerning where the Holy Spirit is calling us. It is a way for the church to move forward together. All are invited to participate in this process including women & men, young & old, parishioners, and those that have drifted away from the church.
Year 1 (2019-2020): The Church Listens
During this time, 30 Prayer & Listening events were held and attended by Archbishop Hebda. Over 8,000 people attended these events providing over 35,000 comments on what is working well in the Archdiocese, where they see challenges and opportunities for moving forward.
The Archbishop determined 3 Focus Areas for year 3 of the Synod by reviewing those comments, consulting with others, and prayerful discernment.
The 3 Focus Areas are:
1. Forming parishes that are in the service of evangelization,
2. Forming missionary disciples who know Jesus' love and respond to his call, and
3. Forming youth and young adults in and for a Church that is always young.
Year 2 (2020-2021): The Church Prepares
In a year of uncertainty with the global pandemic, the Small Groups portion of the Synod process was postponed to Fall 2021. To prepare for those small groups, the Archdiocese produced multiple video series shared with the faithful via YouTube.
Praying with Scripture is a 5-part video series on growing in holiness through prayer with scripture.
Healing and Hope is a 5-part video retreat meant to provide viewers with an opportunity to encounter Jesus' love and mercy.
Faith and Culture is a series of videos with expert teachers, testimonials, and discussions on four topics: sources of Catholic teaching, sexual morality and the family, the dignity of women, and the priesthood.
Synod at Home is a 5-part video series about creating an at-home faith plan for your family.
**videos are still available on the Archdiocese YouTube account.
Year 3 (2021-2022): The Church Engages
Fall 2021: Parish Small Groups - Small groups meet in every parish to learn, pray, and discuss the focus areas. Feedback from parishes will help inform the Deanery consultation.
January/February 2022: Deanery Consultation - Pastors and parish representatives meet to learn, pray, and discuss the focus areas. Feedback will help determine the Synod topics.
June 2022: Archdiocesan Synod Assembly - about 500 appointed delegates (including 2 from each parish) gather to learn, pray and discuss the Synod topics and recommend the pastoral priorities to Archbishop Hebda. After a period of prayerful discernment, Archbishop Hebda will write a Pastoral Letter (November - Feast of Christ the King) presenting the Pastoral Plan to move our Archdiocese forward.