In preparation for the second set of Synod sessions scheduled for October, the Holy See, along with the U.S. Bishops Office for the Synod plans to hold at least two diocesan-wide listening sessions for faithful of the Diocese.
The Trenton Diocese Office of Pastoral Planning has planned two listening sessions with the first to be held in-person on March 2 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in St. David the King Parish, 1 New Village Rd., Princeton Junction. The second session, that will be online, is planned for March 7 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Offered for persons who participated in listening sessions in 2022 and those who did not, the upcoming listening sessions will focus on two questions: “Where have I seen or experienced successes – and distresses – within the Church’s structure(s)/organization/leadership/life that encourage or hinder the Mission?” and “How can the structures and organization of the Church help all the baptized to respond to the call to proclaim the Gospel and to live as a community of love and mercy in Christ.”
Terry Ginther, diocesan chancellor and executive director of pastoral life and mission, noted that several Scriptures have been provided for inspiration along with the wording of the two questions for discussion. As they had from the first round of listening sessions two years ago, the notes from the reflections will contribute toward the preparation of the working documents for the October 2024 Synod session in Rome.
Recapping the process of the listening sessions from 2021-2022, Ginther said that they were held at the invitation of the Holy See in preparation for the XVI Synod of Bishops: For a Synodal Church – Communion, Participation and Mission. More than 4,000 persons participated in the sessions using the spiritual conversation method with a facilitator and notetaker. Notes from all sessions contributed to a diocesan report, which in turn contributed to a regional report, then a U.S. report and finally a continental report. The process and working documents for the October 2023 sessions of the Synod were developed from the listening sessions that had been held throughout the world.
Ginther emphasized that people who did not have a chance to participate in listening sessions in the past as well as those who did are welcome to join the March 2 or March 7 sessions. In order to properly plan for the sessions with a sufficient number of note-takers and facilitators and to provide refreshments, Ginther said that interested persons are asked to register at dioceseoftrenton.org/listening-sessions by Feb. 24.
For more information, contact Ginther at 609-403-7143 or [email protected].