In the Gospels, we often see Jesus on a journey, open to an encounter with those He meets along the way, present to them, concerned about their questions. Like Jesus, we too are called to become experts in the art of encounter. This involves an openness to others, as well as courage and a willingness to allow oneself to be challenged by the presence and stories of others.
Pope Francis says that true encounter only comes from listening to others, noting that Jesus listens not just with the ears, but with the heart. When we follow Jesus in listening with the heart, “people feel they are being heard, not judged: they feel free to recount their own experiences and their spiritual journey.”
This Synod calls for the involvement of all children of God – laity, consecrated and ordained – to engage in the exercise of deep and respectful listening to one another. This listening creates space for us to hear the Holy Spirit together, and guides our aspirations for the Church of the Third Millennium. Participation is based on the fact that all the faithful are qualified and are called to serve one another through the gifts they have each received from the Holy Spirit. In a synodal Church the whole community, in the free and rich diversity of its members, is called together to pray, listen, dialogue, discern and offer advice on making pastoral decisions.
By listening, the Church is following the example of God himself, who listens to the cry of his people. The Synodal Process provides us with the opportunity to open ourselves to listen in an authentic way, without resorting to ready-made answers or pre-formulated judgments.
Here at St. Luke we are inviting you to participate in the Synod in many ways and request your help in joining one and letting us know which one you are able to join. These include:
1. Listening sessions with each ministry - please contact your ministry leader to know when yours is scheduled and plan to join there.
2. Parish in-person listening sessions before /after the weekend masses. These are scheduled on Saturday, January 8 at 4.15 pm and Sunday, January 9 at 8.45am, 10.15am, 12.15pm and 4.15pm.
3. Virtual sessions planned via Zoom on Sunday, January 23 at 2pm and Thursday, February 10 at 7pm.
4. You can also write-in your input to us and mail it to the Parish Office in the mailers sent to all registered parishioners, by dropping your input in the drop boxes or by emailing your input to email@example.com.
Please let us know which session you are able to join via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by dropping the response slip at the drop-boxes in the gathering space. Please also let us know if you are able to volunteer to host the listening sessions or take notes at the sessions by emailing the same address or contacting any of the Parish delegates. We will be consolidating all the input from the various listening sessions and the written submissions into a report to share with Bishop Frank and the Diocese of Bridgeport for further consolidation with input from other parishes in the Diocese. To know more about the Synod and our activities in the Diocese, visit https://formationreimagined.org/synod-on-synodality/