This letter from Bishop Anthony B. Taylor will be read at all Masses Oct. 16-17 for the opening of the diocesan phase of the synod.
“Last month Pope Francis announced a process of reflection leading up to a meeting of the Synod of Bishops to take place in Rome in October of 2023. He announced a diocesan phase starting now, then national and regional phases to follow. Our diocesan phase is opening with a special Mass in our Cathedral today. The word synod means journey together and the purpose is to help us be more inclusive as we look to our future as Church, and that we pay special attention to those on the margins whose concerns and perspective are so often overlooked. “The three touchstones of this process are communion, participation and mission.
“A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.” In Arkansas our participation in the synod will consist of a series of meetings between now and April in order to reflect on the following questions: How does this “journeying together” happen in our local Church? And what steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in journeying together?
“I invite everyone to reflect on these questions and then participate in the discussions, which will take place in various groups in your parish and on the diocesan level, sharing your thoughts and listening to what others have to say. Let us dream together! Truth is horizontal as well as vertical, and it takes humility to truly listen with an open heart to others whose life experience and perspective on things may be very different from our own. Yet the Holy Spirit is there as well -- he’s everywhere. I pray that through this synodal process we will better discern what God is asking of us today.”
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