November 12, 2021

Synod process underway across central and southern Indiana

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson and priests serving in central and southern Indiana process on April 16, 2019, into SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral for the annual chrism Mass. Catholics from across the archdiocese are invited to take part in a variety of ways to contribute to a process of preparation underway now for a 2023 meeting of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican. (File photo by Sean Gallagher)

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson and priests serving in central and southern Indiana process on April 16, 2019, into SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral for the annual chrism Mass. Catholics from across the archdiocese are invited to take part in a variety of ways to contribute to a process of preparation underway now for a 2023 meeting of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican. (File photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Sean Gallagher

The Church in central and southern Indiana, along with dioceses around the world, is in the midst of contributing to the planning process for a 2023 meeting of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican.

The topic of that meeting will be “synodality,” which is a word to describe how all the faithful are called to contribute to the guiding of the life of the Church through prayerful listening and sharing their own thoughts.

Ken Ogorek, archdiocesan director of catechesis, is coordinating the process of gathering input from across the archdiocese. He said that while the Church throughout its history has been collegial, “there’s always room for improvement.”

“It’s really an opportunity to focus on that aspect,” Ogorek said. “How are administrative and strategic decisions made? The synod is not about doctrine or morality. It’s not about the magisterium per se. It’s about how decisions are made. … This specific synod is an opportunity to continue listening and to enhance our listening skills.”

To gather contributions from as many people as possible, there are several ways that have been set up for people to offer their thoughts.

Links to an online survey available in both English and Spanish can be found at www.archindy.org/SynodSurvey.

The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council met on Nov. 6 with Archbishop Charles C. Thompson to discuss the synod.

Parish councils across central and southern Indiana are invited to discuss the synod and return their input to archdiocesan leaders.

Ogorek emphasized the importance of contributions from individual parishes.

“It’s at the parish level where we believe that outreach to the marginalized is going to be most effectively realized,” he said. “We want to make sure that a broad variety of folks have an opportunity to weigh in on the synod questions.”

Other groups that have been invited to contribute to the process include young adult Catholics in the archdiocese and members of other Churches and Christian communities and representatives of faiths in central and southern Indiana.

“That’s really part of the idea of the synod,” Ogorek said. “Let’s hear from everybody, maybe especially folks who aren’t the usual crowd who gets to weigh in on Church-related matters all the time.”

All of this input should be returned to Ogorek by the end of January 2022. Archdiocesan leaders will sort through the contributions the following month and assemble a 10-page draft report.

“We plan to do that in a prayerful way that listens to how the Holy Spirit might be speaking through everyone who’s offered input and shared their thoughts and feelings,” Ogorek said.

On March 5, Catholics across the archdiocese will be able to take part with Archbishop Thompson in a meeting on the synod. The time and location of the meeting has not yet been determined.

When it occurs, those taking part will be able to view the draft report and share their thoughts about the synod with Archbishop Thompson.

A final report in which input from the March 5 meeting can be included will then be completed by the end of March. The findings of that report will be made available to archdiocesan Catholics. The archdiocesan report will be submitted to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which will later send a report on the synod to the Vatican.

Such contributions from dioceses around the world will help lay the groundwork for the 2023 meeting of the Synod of Bishops.
 

(More information on the synod process in the archdiocese can be found by contacting your pastor, parish life coordinator or parish council chair or president. Ken Ogorek can also be reached at catechesis@archindy.org or 317-236-1446.)

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