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  • Fr. Bryan

The Global Synod

A couple weeks ago in the bulletin I wrote about the Synod that has been called for by Pope Francis. This is a global undertaking that involves every parish in every diocese. Our goal is to collectively listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and ask for direction, as individual Catholics, local communities, and as a global Church.

Many people are skeptical about this process on a global level, but we don’t need to let that distract us from making the most of this on a local level. I want to be clear: This is not a moment to debate political questions or preferences. We are not setting out to change doctrine or morals. We are not going to unite as partisans trying to impose our preferences on others. We are gathering to ask God to direct us.

There are a few questions that have to do with how we accompany others through the challenges of life. The Vatican used this language: “How are we journeying together as a local Church?” In other words, how are we supporting each other? Are there times we fail to journey together? Do we take care of this sick as we should? Are we attentive to people who are grieving? Are we attentive to the needs of people with addictions? Who else have we “forgotten about?” How are we doing well and how do we need to improve?

I hope that people who participate in the synod will think about these questions. You can draw on scripture, your own experiences (positive and negative) and the experiences of people you know. I want to encourage you to go directly to reflect, and I want to caution you from reading too much in national publications, as they are already trying to influence this process with ideological concerns.

Another question is, “What steps is the Holy Spirit inviting us to take as we prepare to journey together?” Again, this is an important question to reflect on. Initially I suggested that anyone can come to any session (limit one session), but I have changed my mind. I think this process would work best if everyone attended at their own parish. If, however, it is not possible for you to attend the session at your own parish then please attend one at a different parish.

The listening sessions are, February 25th at 6:30pm at St. Rose. We also have one scheduled at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Kelso on Monday, February 28th at 1pm. There will also be an online session on Thursday, March 3rd at 6:30pm (for all parishes). Finally, there will be a session at St. Mary’s in Castle Rock on Friday, March 18th at 6pm (following stations of the cross). St. Catherine’s will host their session on March 14th at 5pm.

Each session should be no more than an hour and a half.

The pope has also invited Baptized non-Catholics to participate in this process. If you know somebody who is not Catholic but who respects the Church and is prayerful, feel free to invite them.

I know that not all of these times and locations are convenient, but this is an important undertaking, and I hope that you will participate. In order to make this successful, we need people present to actually listen. If, however, this is not possible for you I would encourage you to submit a statement in writing using this form:

I believe this can be a very helpful process for us, and I want us all to do our best to make it successful. Thank you all for your participation!

Fr. Bryan

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