Please take a couple minutes to hear from Bishop David P. Talley on the Synod Process across our Diocese in the following video: https://vimeo.com/736978954.
After several months of Synod Prayer and Discernment Sessions and the Self-Guided Synod Prayer and Discernment Survey, our Catholic Diocese of Memphis recently submitted a Synod Diocesan Report to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops based on input received from across our four Deaneries at many of our parishes, missions, schools and other West Tennessee groups. Our Diocesan Synod Team, led by Sam Mauck, Director of Evangelization and Faith Formation for our Diocese, reviewed the Synod Diocesan Report with Bishop David P. Talley and then sent it to the U.S. Bishops. The submission completes Phase One of the Synod Process for our Diocese. Here’s our Report: SynodDiocesanReportMemphis.
The Synod Process is now in the Second Phase with groups working to synthesizes Diocesan Reports into Region Summaries by the end of this summer. Our Catholic Diocese of Memphis is part of Region V, which includes our state of Tennessee (three Dioceses) along with Kentucky (three Dioceses and one Archdiocese), Louisiana (six Dioceses and one Archdiocese), Mississippi (two Dioceses) and Alabama (one Diocese and one Archdiocese). This past Fall 2021, Pope Francis asked Dioceses all over the world to take part in this Synod Process that will culminate with a celebration in Rome in October 2023 (Phase Three).
Here’s a bit more of the Synod Process…on May 21, 2021, Pope Francis announced to the Church that the Synod of Bishops (postponed due to the pandemic) would be preceded by a Synod Process that includes listening to all baptized in every Diocese before the Bishops gather again in the Fall 2023. In comments about the Synod Process, Cardinal Mario Grech, Head of the Vatican’s Office of the Synod of Bishops, said the change from an event into a process was chosen because this was an excellent time for a wider participation from the people of God in a decision-making process that affects the whole Church and everyone in the Church. God willing, one of the key aspects of the Synod is that we might all understand that a decision-making process in the Church always begins with listening, because only in this way can we understand how and where the Holy Spirit wants to lead the Church.
The Synod Process has Three Phases in two years (October 2021 to October 2023) and the word Synod refers to certain types of important church meetings and the root meaning has to do with journeying together, walking together in the way of Our Lord.
- Oct. 9-10, 2021: Pope Francis opens the Synod Process Three Phase event from the Vatican.
- Oct. 16-17, 2021: Each Church, including our Memphis Diocese, solemnly opens the Synod of Bishops.
- Fall 2021-Summer 2022 (Phase One): The first phase was held in Dioceses. Each Diocese conducted meetings with local Catholics and produced a Synod Diocesan Report that was submitted to the U.S. Bishops. In a period of discernment, each Region reviews the Reports and composes its own document to submit to the Vatican’s office for the Synod of Bishops. Vatican officials will create a first draft of the Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris (working document) from the submitted Reports by this Fall 2022.
- Fall 2022-Summer 2023 (Phase Two): In the second phase, Bishops will meet at the Continental level. They will gather on each Continent to create a Report about their discussions and submit them to the Vatican. A second draft of the Instrumentum will be created from these Reports and released by Summer 2023.
- October 2023 (Phase Three): For the third and final phase, the Bishops will meet in Rome for a celebration of the Synod Process.
For additional information on the Synod Process, click on the following link: CDOMSynodProcess.
¡Adelante! Going Forward Together, On Mission…That All May Be One (John 17:21)!