... We recall that the purpose of the Synod, and therefore of this consultation, is not to produce documents, but to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another, and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands ... (Pope Francis)
2023 Synod Resources & Information
You Can Now Register for VOTF Synod on Synodality Input Sessions for April & May
Voice of the Faithful has scheduled additional input sessions for the Synod on Synodality for April & May. The Synod is the most significant opportunity ever for the Church’s laity to influence the future of the Church. VOTF will be compiling a report comprising information from all of its Synod sessions and sending it directly to the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops in Rome via Region XVI. If you want more information on how voices expressed in parish or other Synod sessions will be heard, read this document, "How Do We Know that Our Words Will Be Heard at the Vatican."
Anyone interested in attending a Set of sessions may note the following points and then register for one Set of two sessions using the links below:
- Each Set will include two sessions.
- Questions in session two follow those of session one in each Set.
- You need register for only one set of sessions to ensure your input.
- Sessions are restricted in size to ensure all can effectively share their experiences.
- Registration for each Set will be closed when Set is full.
- Please feel free to invite friends, neighbors, adult children, and others.
VOTF’s previous sessions ended with Set 9, so these sessions start with Set 10. Set 10 and Set 11 differ from those VOTF usually offers because they are being held on consecutive days instead of on consecutive weeks. This is to avoid holding the second sessions in each of these Sets during Holy Week.
Please note that the final "Submit" button when registering links to the "Synod Overview" document needed to prepare for the questions asked during the sessions. Registration for each Set will be closed when Set is full.
Set 10: Click here to register Completed Set 11: Click here to register Completed Set 12: Click here to register Closed Set 13: Click here to register Closed
Set 14: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Mon.., Apr. 25, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Mon., May 2, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
Set 15: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Wed., Apr. 27, 11 a.m. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Wed., May 4, 11 a.m. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT
Set 16: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Sun., May 1, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Sun., May 8, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
Set 17: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Tues., May 10, 6 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. CDT, 4 p.m. MDT, 3 p.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Tues., May 17, 6 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. CDT, 4 p.m. MDT, 3 p.m. PDT
Set 18: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Thurs., May 12, 11 a. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Thurs., May 19, 11 a. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT
Set 19: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Fri., May 13, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Fri., May 20, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
Set 20: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Sat., May 14, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Sat., May 21, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
Set 21: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Mon., May 16, Noon EDT, 11 a.m. CDT, 10 a.m. MDT, 9 a.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Mon., May 23, Noon EDT, 11 a.m. CDT, 10 a.m. MDT, 9 a.m. PDT
Set 22: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Wed., May 18, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Wed., May 25, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
Set 23: Click here to register
- Session 1 -- Tues, May 24, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
- Session 2 -- Tues., May 31, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
The Synod is for Mutual Discernment
This is your opportunity to express your hopes, dreams, desires, and, yes, even your concerns for the future of the Catholic Church. We will listen intently to the Holy Spirit and engage in mutual discernment to seek a path forward for our Church. The Synod on Synodality, officially called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” will provide all people of God with a chance to express how they see the Church becoming the synodal, pastoral, evangelical Church it should be.
VOTF emphasizes that all voices are to be heard for the Synod, even the voices of those who feel uncomfortable talking in a group about their experiences and hopes for the future of the Church. Anyone who would like additional information may email email@example.com.
Also be aware that VOTF is available to assist parishes, lay groups, religious orgaizations and others in their synod sessions. Our format and session structure can be adapted for those purposes. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail) if you would like more information.
VOTF Synod Announcements & Activities
- Voice of the Faithful offers path for input into Synod 2021-2023
- Women's roles are an important component of the Synod on Synodality; but perhaps not in the way you think
- Zoom Basics, as our Synod sessions will be conducted primarily via Zoom, here are some helpful links to get you started
Vatican Releases Synod on Synodality Preparatory Document
The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops presents the base text and ‘vademecum’ – or handbook – to guide the journey of the Synod on Synodality. Listening without prejudice; speaking out with courage and parrhesia; dialoguing with the Church, with society, and with the other Christian confessions. (Vatican News)
“The General Secretariat for the Synod has published the Preparatory Document, along with a Vademecum (or handbook) to indicate the guiding principles that will direct the path of the Synod on Synodality. The solemn opening of the Synod took place in Rome on October 9-10, and in the particular Churches on October 17; and will conclude in the Vatican in 2023 with the assembly of bishops from around the world.
“The Preparatory Document [released in September 2021] is intended above all to be an instrument facilitating the first phase of listening and consultation of the People of God in the particular Churches, which will take place from October 2021 to April 2022.* [*On October 29, 2021, the Vatican extended the deadline for the Diocesan phase until August 15, 2022.]
“‘In other words,’ as the document says, ‘it constitutes a sort of construction site or pilot experience that makes it possible to immediately begin reaping the fruits of the dynamic that progressive synodal conversion introduces into the Christian community.'” -- By Vatican News — Read more …
In addition to the resources available from the Vatican, additional English-language guides are available along with numerous documents that can help prepare you for participation. We have gathered some of those below and will add to them as new ones become available.
2023 Synod Resources
- KEY DOCUMENTS: Vatican's Preparatory Document for the 2023 Synod and the Vademecum for the Synod on Synodality, which is the official handbook for listening and discernment in local churches during the first phase of the 2023 Synod from October 2021 through April 2022 in dioceses and bishops' conferences leading up to the Assembly of Bishops in Synod in October 2023
- Timeline graphic showing the stages leading up to the October 2023 Synod bishops' meeting
- Comprehensive guide to conducing mini-synods to gather information and listen to views in advance of preparing input into the 2023 Synod process
- Slide presentation on synodality and the 2021-2023 Synod process prepared by the Gereral Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops
- Access via Boston College's Student Voices Project 2022 for high school, college, and graduate students to talk about the Synod. Scroll all the way to the bottom for the initial survey link.
- Definitions of papal documents, placing the Synod and its process among the most important documents a pope issues
- The Synodus Episcoporum: For a synodal Church communion, participation and mission -- XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- Voice of the Faithful's inclusive document "Information Resources on Synods, Synodality and the 2023 Synod"
- Leadership Roundtable's For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission -- Process for Facilitating Synodal Consultations
- Links to all of the Vatican II documents (also see "How do we prepare for a synodal process? Start with the documents of Vatican II," by Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter)
- "The Church on the way: Prayer for a synodal Church" from the Vatican
- Sign up for The Synodal Journey Newsletter by the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops
- Synod Consultation Plans, map of U.S. archdioceses and dioceses from National Catholic Reporter that have synod consultation plans
- RESULTADOS Asamblea Ecclesial, Forty-one pastoral challenges identified during the synodal process in Latin America and the Caribbean during summer and fall 2021
- Flyer in English & Spanish containing Prayers for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops -- "For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission" (2021-2023). You may download, print and fold these flyers and use them wherever you feel you have a receptive audience.
- Biblical Resources for Synodality, by Commission on Spirituality, Biblical Sub-Group, March 2022
Videos About Synodality
"Why participate in the Synod?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67AzH2ZlAac
Sr. Natalie Becquart (of the General Secretariat) on synodality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf4ixP21R6U
"A new way of being Church" by Prof. Rafael Luciani (one-hour lecture): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsMhhRKzzcI
"From Episcopal Collegiality to Ecclesial Synodality," a lecture by Prof. Massimo Faggioli: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31KMA5kZVD0
"Webinar: For a Synodal Church," by Discerning Deacons features Profs. Kristen Colberg, Rafael Luciani, and Hosffman Ospino--all specialists in ecclesiology and synodality--speaking about what Pope Francis is inviting us to do.
"From the Margins to the Center" by Fr. Robert Choiniere for the New Ways ministry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6nk41o2-uk
VOTF video on what the Synod is and how to participate, presented by VOTF Executive Director Donna Doucette (videographer Vincent Rocchio)
Toward a Synodal Church: Co-Responsibility and the Lay Apostolate, presented by the Catholic Appostolate Center
2023 Synod Media Coverage
Cardinal Tobin: refusing to deal with complexity in the church is a form of heresy, by Michael J. O'Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review
Pope launches synodal process to discern Holy Spirit’s call to the church, by Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter
- Pope Francis: Rigidity in the church 'is a sin against the patience of God,' by Gerard O'Connell, America: The Jesuit Review
- With new synodal process, Francis creates an insurance policy for reforms, by Massimo Faggioli, La Croix International, on NCRonline.org
- A closer look at synodality and its promise for a more inclusive church, by Hosffman Ospino, National Catholic Reporter
- Encuentros: Learning from 50 years of synodal experience--if we have been paying attention by Hosffman Ospino, National Catholic Reporter
- Speak Boldly, Listen Carefully: Inside the Synod, by Austen Invereigh, Commmonweal magazine
- Editorial: A Ministry of Listening: On the Opening of the Synod, by Michael Centore, Editor, Today’s American Catholic
- Encuentros: Learning from 50 years of synodal experience -- if we've been paying attention, by Hosffman Ospino, Naitonal Catholic Reporter
- Synod phase for local listening gets an uneven start in U.S. dioceses, by Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter
- Synod on Synodality, National Catholic Reporter coverage of the Synod on Synodality, including a link to a map of U.S. archdioceses and dioceses that have synod consultation plans
- An unprecedented gathering in Latin America is putting Pope Francis' vision for the church into action, by Colleen Dulle, Inside the Vatican, America: The Jesuit Review
- Largest Native American diocese takes unique approach to synod, by John Lavenburg, Cruxnow.com
- Is Pope Francis' Synod on Synodality bound to dissapoint--or will it renew the Church? by Louis J. Cameli, America: The Jesuit Review
- Synodality and ecumenism require walking together, say cardinals, by Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter
- American Catholics need to shed some habits to get in the synodal spirit, by Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter
- Unexcused absence: Why aren't colleges more involved in the synod? by Massimo Faggioli, Commonweal
- Where German Catholics & Pope Francis diverge: Germany's 'synodal way' charts its own course to reform, by Massimo Faggioli, Commonweal
- Catholic college leaders urged to listen up in synod sessions, by Carol Zimmermann, Catholic News Service
- Pope Francis says the synod must hear 'excluded' voices. These five dioceses are trying. By Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter
- ‘We are all responsible together for what the church becomes’: Vatican II, synodality and the future of Catholicism, by Kenneth L. Woodward, America: The Jesuit Review