The Diocese of Wilmington pre-synod phase of Synod 2021–2023 began Nov. 30 when members of the diocese synodal team took part in the consultation process.
The team led by Father Glenn Evers and Arlene Dosman participated in the consultation experience in order to help shape the format and prepare to train facilitators for the deanery, parish and school rollout planned for January 2022.
The theme of the 2023 gathering is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” and that will be the guiding principle behind local efforts, Father Evers said.
Pope Francis is calling all Catholics to look more deeply into how it is that we are journeying as a church, and where it is that the Holy Spirit is calling us, according to Father Evers.
The pope wants every Catholic to have a voice, and to that end, the Diocese of Wilmington wants to reach as many of the faithful as possible. A synod team was established to identify the best ways to provide a voice to everybody. The local process will tap into all previously established channels, such as parishes, schools and Catholic Charities outlets, Father Evers said.
Information on the Synod is available at www.cdow.org/synod.
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the short-term goal of local efforts is to “have successful diocesan consultations in a synodal spirit reflecting on the state of the church in ‘journeying together.’” The long-term goal is to “re-orient the local church toward an inherent synodal attitude in decision-making processes through communion, participation, and mission.”
“The calling of this synod is well-aligned with the challenge Pope Francis offered his brother bishops to ‘dialogue fearlessly,’” according to a document provided to local dioceses by the USCCB. “The Holy Father has made a request of the people of God to participate as fully and authentically as possible in the synodal process.”
After the listening sessions are complete, the diocesan team must create a 10-page report to be submitted to the USCCB by the end of April 2022. The bishops’ conference will author its own report, a summary of reports compiled around the United States, that will be presented at the 2023 synod.