Journeying together through the Synod

Bishop David Zubik is asking the Holy Spirit to lead Catholics as they get ready to join in a global consultation the pope has convened to help him determine how the Church discerns its mission.

“Our Holy Father Pope Francis…has called for the entire Church to engage in the process of listening in preparation for the Synod of Bishops that will take place in 2023,” Bishop Zubik said in his homily during a special Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated October 17 at Saint Paul Cathedral. “We need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, to see and share what is in our hearts.

“We need to hang onto Jesus so that we can come to a deeper understanding of what it means to be Church,” he said.

Every Catholic—including those who have left the Church or those who feel marginalized—are invited to participate in the Synod, a word which translated from the Greek means “journeying together.” Three key concepts for the synod and its recommendations are communion, participation and mission.

“We will have the chance to listen to each other, learn from each other, and journey with each other,” Bishop Zubik said in his homily. “And so as we begin this process, and indeed as we embrace this task, the Holy Father has asked us to be open to the Spirit to find grace for timely help.”

The focus of the synod is how the Church discerns its mission, not on what it should teach.

Pope Francis and diocesan organizers plan to provide small group opportunities for Catholics to offer their thoughts, culminating in diocesan-wide gatherings next spring. All participation will be summed up in a 10-page document that every diocese will send to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB will then send a summary of all the diocesan documents to the Vatican.

The synod will culminate with a worldwide assembly of bishops in October 2023.

Text “Synod2021” to 84576 to receive updates on the Synod and learn how you can participate, or visit or your parish website.

Bishop Zubik leads the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit at St. Paul Cathedral on Oct. 17 to begin the Synod.