“It is necessary to feel part of one great people who are the recipients of the divine promises open to a future that awaits everyone to participate in the banquet prepared by God for all peoples. . . . . I have come here to encourage you to take this synodical process seriously and to tell you that the Holy Spirit needs you. Listen to Him by listening to yourselves and do not leave anyone out or behind.”Pope Francis, discourse to the faithful in the diocese of Rome
Starting in 2021, Pope Francis has called for a Synod on Synodality. A ‘synod’ is simply an ecclesiastical (church) gathering under the hierarchical authority to discuss and discern matters related to the faith. While these have typically been gatherings of bishops under the guidance of the pope, the Church is eager to hearing from a wide diversity of voices in Her discernment of God’s will. At the Second Vatican Council there were non-Catholic observers invited and present to help the council Fathers in their discernment of God’s will for the Church in the world. Though the teachings of the Church is enduring and unchanging, Her presence and approach to the world is always informed by the needs of the time in which She serves.
Pope Francis’ intention is to have multi-year process where there a synods at the parish level, the diocesan level, the regional level, and finally, in Rome. Here at Saint Mark parish, we will be offering several opportunities for in-person and online gatherings – within invitations to Catholics (parishioners and non-parishioners), non-Catholics, and everyone in between. Currently we are in the planning stage, but plan on making our schedule public in the coming weeks – with gatherings starting in February through early March. In the meantime, we encourage you to learn about the Synodal Process via Archbishop Etienne’s video and the links below.
We look forward to gathering with you and receiving your contributions!
- Vatican News article: “Listening to the Faithful: Vatican releases Synod Preparatory Document“
- Preparatory Document for the Synod on Synodality
- Vademecum (handbook) for the Synod on Synodality
- Archdiocese of Seattle website: “Synodal Process: We are a listening Church“
- Archdiocese of Seattle Synodal Process Q&A: “Synod Questions“
- The Pillar Catholic’s explainer article: “The synod on synodality could be great. Here’s how“