Synod progresses to national level
Some activities take a summer break, but preparations for the Synod on Synodality moved at full speed.
At the end of June, the diocese submitted its Synod synthesis document, which presented the major topics from 121 listening sessions held across the 28-county diocese. It’s available on the diocesan website, fwdioc.org, in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
The document includes a summary of the diocesan Synod process, an action plan, and a summary of the major themes that emerged in the listening sessions, which include: celebration of the Eucharist as the central point of unity in the Diocese of Fort Worth; gratitude for the local clergy and a desire to work toward an increase in priestly vocations; hunger for spiritual activities such as Mass, catechesis, Eucharistic Adoration, and spiritual retreats to build individual and communal relationships with God; and a desire for unity, engagement, understanding and help for each other, including those not journeying with us.
After the completion of the diocesan reports, representatives from 19 dioceses and archdioceses in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas met to assess and compile the synod documents under the leadership of the region X bishop’s representative, Bishop Mario Aviles, auxiliary bishop of Brownsville.
Paola Quintero-Araujo, assistant director for diaconate pastoral formation, worked on the regional committee and noted parishioners across the region expressed similar ideas. Quintero-Araujo worked with other representatives to write a regional report, which was submitted to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops by the end of July.
The USCCB has reviewed synod documents from each of the 15 regions in the U.S., and the national report will soon be complete. The Diocese of Fort Worth will post the national report on its website once approved by the end of September.
Preparations are underway for the continental phase of the synod to take place between December 2022 and February 2023, and a continental synthesis will be written and sent to the Vatican.
The Vatican will receive the synthesis from the continental phases from around the world, from which it will create a working document for the October 2023 meeting of bishops in Rome. The Synod on Synodality is the culmination of Pope Francis’ three-year process of “listening to the questions, concerns, and hopes of every church, people, and nation.”