In May 2021, Pope Francis surprised the Church by announcing that the next Synod of Bishops, postponed until 2023 due to the pandemic, would be preceded by a worldwide synodal process in which the Church would listen “to all of the baptized” in every local diocese to better understand their concerns and perspectives as the Church charts its future course.  This worldwide process was launched in our own Archdiocese of Newark and in our parish last fall. Our local effort was led by parishioners Noreen Collins and Gary Stavella, with parish support from Andy Fellows, Christina Mueller and Frs. Alex and Phil. 

From December 2021 to March 2022, we conducted a series of 10 listening sessions, both in-person at Our Lady of Grace and St. Joseph and virtually. Some were open to general audiences; other were more specifically targeted at audiences including the young adult, LGBTQ+ and ally, Hispanic and disaffected Catholic communities. In total, approximately 130 individuals participated in these sessions.

We express profound thanks to each and every individual who took the time, and, in some cases, summoned the courage, to participate in these sessions and provide unfiltered feedback about their experiences in the Church and their perspectives on what the Church is getting right and doing wrong.

From the copious notes that were gathered at these 10 sessions, our parish Synod team drafted four reports to highlight with specificity the feedback received from the following communities: general parish, young adultLGBTQ+ and disaffected Catholics.  Please click on the links to read these reports in their entirety.  These reports were submitted to the Archdiocese in mid-April.  You can also read this summary of our parish's feedback.   

The Archdiocese has reviewed the many reports received from parishes, schools and other Catholic communities within the diocese and produced an Archdiocesan synthesis report.  At the national level, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a national synthesis report with feedback from all the dioceses.  Worldwide local findings will be consolidated into reports for discussion among the world’s bishops and the Vatican at the 2023 Synod of Bishops to guide Pope Francis on decisions about how the Church should proceed in the future.  You can read the latest about the Vatican's synodal efforts here.

Thank you for your participation!



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