DREAMING ABOUT OUR CHURCH IN THE FUTURE
Pope Francis wants to know what your dreams are for the church of the future. Seriously. He wants to know what you, personally, have to say. He has put into motion all the energy of the Vatican and called upon the worldwide bishops to set up listening sessions to hear from all the People of God. The method by which Pope Francis is initiating this global conversation is a synod. And the topic of the synod is “synodality.”
Pope Francis is taking the meaning of synod back to its New Testament roots to say that it’s not just the bishops who are supposed to meet and discuss the matters of the church. The entire church should discuss what is important to the church. The official handbook for the synod says: Pope Francis wants “every one of the baptized to be involved in the ecclesial and social change that we so greatly need.”
The invitation by Pope Francis to gather to discuss what is important to the church of our time extends to everyone at our beloved Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish. Regular church attendees, please extend this invitation to the inactive Catholics you know. This synodal process welcomes all the baptized, so please also extend this invitation to Christians you know from other denominations.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE OLMC SESSION ON February 16th 7:00PM:
No matter how many people show up, we’ll break into groups of no more than 10 people.
A small group facilitator will guide the process.
+ Each person will have 3 minutes of uninterrupted time to say what is important to them.
+ We’ll reflect silently on what everyone said then have another opportunity to speak, one at a time.
+ Our emphasis will be on respectful listening. Not debating. Not making decisions. Just listening respectfully to others.
Two Hours. Max.
From our initial welcoming with a prayer to our final closing, we plan to spend two hours together.
Live on the OLMC Campus
We’ll make use of the many spaces available, including Titus Room, Conference Room, and Auditorium to create peaceful, quiet spaces for listening.
Snacks and Refreshments. Yum.
We will provide snacks and drinks as part of our hospitality.
Join us for our listening session.
Our listening session will be facilitated by parishioners and staff members of OLMC. These sessions follow a common goal and format established for all churches.
The fundamental question that guides all listening sessions around the world is the following:
A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.” How is this “journeying together” happening today in your particular Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?
As we prepare to respond, we are invited to consider the following:
Ask yourselves what experiences in your particular Church this fundamental question calls to mind;
What joys did these experiences provoke? What difficulties and obstacles have they encountered? What wounds have they brought to light? What insights have they elicited?
To help prepare for a listening session, we recommend you take a moment to familiarize yourself with the synodal process.
Links to more information:
The Vatican’s website devoted to the Synod: https://www.synod.va/en.html
A 43-minute recording of a live presentation by Austen Ivereigh. https://www.austeni.org/blog/the-synod-on-synodality-why-it-matters
Austen Ivereigh article from Commonweal magazine. https://www.austeni.org/blog/speak-boldly-listen-carefully-inside-the-synod