On May 21, 2021, Pope Francis surprised the Church by announcing that the Synod of Bishops, postponed due to the pandemic, will be preceded by a synodal process that includes “listening to all of the baptized” in every local diocese before the bishops gather again in 2023.

A Synod is a journey of discernment, in which the people of God are called to pray and reflect upon the Holy Spirit’s will for the Church. Throughout listening and our sharing, we will seek to understand what the Holy Spirit’s will is for the topic being discussed – and thus, for the Church.

The Archdiocese of Newark joined dioceses throughout the world in celebrating a special Opening Mass on Oct. 17 to launch “Synod 2021- 2023: For a Synodal Church,” a two-year re-examination of the way the Catholic Church is listening to and walking with its parishioners.

Listening Sessions

Now as part of its synodal journey, the Archdiocese has begun to coordinate listening sessions for its 212 parishes, at which Catholics will be encouraged to share their opinions on what is expected of today’s Church. Sessions will be guided by universal questions for dioceses worldwide looking at the perceptions of today’s Catholics.

The synod is a global process of discussion and reflection on a topic of particular importance to the Church. The synodal process “is not simply a series of meetings,” but “an effort to open ourselves to a permanent conversion of heart.” Here at St. Joseph’s we will be hosting 4 listening sessions. We ask that you register in advance so we can plan accordingly.

Pray for the Synod

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Next Steps

In April 2022, the Archdiocese will gather and analyze the information from all parish listening sessions and put the information into one report that will be submitted to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Similarly, dioceses across the U.S. and globally will submit their local findings, which will ultimately will be put into reports for discussion among the world’s bishops and the Vatican to help guide Pope Francis on decisions about how the Church should proceed in the future.

More information about the Synod is available from the Archdiocesan website.