As part of the local diocesan phase of the 2021 to 2023 Synod on Synodality, the Diocese of Saginaw invites faithful throughout the Diocese to explore the newly updated Synod resource page of the diocesan website. On this page, you will find information about the Synod, including FAQs, as well as opportunities to participate through prayer and attendance at upcoming listening sessions. You will also be invited to consider giving of your time and talent by serving in support and leadership roles during the listening sessions in 2022.
Although locally appointed directors will do much of the coordination, servant leaders are needed to assist with prayer ministry, hospitality, training, technology support and more. Dates and times for listening sessions are expected to be available in early 2022, and they are anticipated to take place in the early part of 2022 until May of 2022.
In October, Bishop Robert Gruss celebrated an opening Mass for the Synod at the Cathedral. He appointed Joe Stong, Director of the Office of Stewardship and Development, and Don Buchalski, Vicariate Liaison and Coordinator of Evangelization to oversee the synodal process in the Diocese of Saginaw. A Diocesan Synodal Team will soon be announced to oversee the upcoming period of listening, reflecting and discerning on the diocesan level in preparation for the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October of 2023.
Pope Francis has invited all Catholics from around the world to come together to reflect on their experiences and share input on how the Church can best fulfill her mission in these current times. This time of listening, collaboration, prayer and discernment will benefit local parishes and ministry groups as well as the global Church. Listening sessions will serve as an opportunity for parishioners to share with parish leaders, while also allowing for a unique invitation to non-practicing Catholics to reengage with parish life.
Parishes throughout the world are asked to participate by reflecting on how the Church can “live communion, to achieve participation, to open herself to mission,” as stated in the preparatory document for the synod.
Once listening sessions are complete, parishes will compile the input received and prayerfully consider how the information might best serve the mission of the parish. Insights gathered from listening sessions throughout the diocese will also be summarized in a 10-page report and shared by the Diocese with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The report is due to the USCCB by Aug. 15, 2022 and will be used to draft a working document for the general assembly in Rome in 2023.
During his homily at the Opening Mass in the Diocese of Saginaw for the Synod, Bishop Robert Gruss explained how “the diverse members of our Diocese will be able to learn from one another’s experiences and one another’s perspectives, always realizing that it’s all guided by the Holy Spirit. So enlightened by the word of God and united in prayer then we are able together, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to discern God’s will and pursue the pathways to which the Lord calls us- all of us, the whole Church to deeper communion. This is what this is all about- a deeper communion, fuller participation, and a greater openness to fulfilling our mission in the world as Church universal and as Church local.”
According to the preparatory document for the synod, “It is especially important that this listening process happen in a spiritual setting that supports openness in sharing as well as hearing. For this reason, you are encouraged to root the local experience of the synodal process in meditation on Scripture, the liturgy, and prayer. In this way, our journey of listening to one another can be an authentic experience of discerning the voice of the Holy Spirit.”