A Note From Fr. LeRoy
"For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission" This past Fall 2021 Pope Francis called for the Catholic Church throughout the world (i.e. clergy, religious, laity, those who are lapsed Catholics, and even those outside our fold) to come together to dialogue, listen, discern and pray. The goal for Pope Francis is to gather as much information from each diocese, region, nation and world to find out where our Roman Catholic Church is at and where we would like to be.
The word , "synod" means "assembly" "meeting" "coming together" as in "journeying together." Typically, when a Pope wants to write an Encyclical or Apostolic Letter or Apostolic Exhortation to help teach and instruct the Faithful, he usually calls together "Synod" of Bishops and certain lay experts to present their information in Rome on a specific topic with the result that the Pope's staff gathers this information to produce a teaching document. Most often those who you might call the, "ordinary faithful" are not included in this gathering. In this Synodality, however, Pope Francis wants everyone's voice heard so he can further discern where we as a Church are, hence the words: "communion, participation, mission" in our heading.
Everyone in our diocese and parishes are invited to participate and make their voice heard. Participation includes 5 simple questions that you are asked to give your thoughts. These responses will be gathered by Bishop Kettler, a document will then be produced which in turn will be sent to our national office NCCB, and eventually passed on to our Pope in Rome. The hope is that Pope Francis will be able to not only hear the voices of all the People of God but also better discern where our Roman Catholic Church should be. This synodal process will also provide useful information for our own St. Cloud Diocese as well, to better discern what we can do to become better and learn from each other. The process for our diocese will end in late May and for the Pope, it will conclude with a Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2023.
To participate you can check our diocesan website at www.stcdio.org<http://www.stcdio.org> and follow the information and instruction. There will also be opportunities to meet as small groups within our "Together As One" ACC or individually as members. Our ACC contact person is Joe Maiers (Chair of our ACC Pastoral Council) who will conduct some small group meetings while Lynn Imholte (Parish Trustee) will be available to meet one on one if desired instead. Our own ACC Pastoral Council has already been through this process with the results being sent to our Chancery office. So far over 1600 people or groups have responded. The more information we gather, the more we learn.
As an Easter People we are called to gather and celebrate our Lord's resurrection, to support each other, and to pass on that Good News. This Synodal process is just one way we can learn from each other and grow closer to our Lord. Stay tuned for more information and some dates and locations on our ACC Synodal gatherings in our bulletin. "Blessed Easter Season everyone!"
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl