Small Group Consultations at Your Installation
The Archdiocesan phase for the synod has concluded. The resources below, however, may still be used to host listening sessions locally.
The priest in charge is encouraged to invite two members of the pastoral advisory council or two leaders in the Catholic faith community to plan and carry out a consultation process. These local facilitators, after reading the synod preparatory document, will meet with the priest in charge to discern how many consultation groups are feasible at their location. Two to five small groups should be the minimum range of input, depending upon the size of the location. Remember that for an effective process the small group is no more than six to seven persons from diverse backgrounds.
If there is a pastoral advisory council, it would be useful to run through the process with the council first to gain a sense of the listening sessions. After that process council member insights will assist in identifying others that the community should invite to contribute. Remember to include the unaffiliated or those who only participate sporadically, because their insights are also of value.
Once the number of sessions and participants are identified, plan the location and dates. Secure the facilities and personally invite each member to save the date. Two weeks prior to the meeting be sure to send the fundamental questions and reflection questions to the participants so that they may prayerfully discern their responses prior to the planned listening session.
Use these resources to plan a small group consultations at your installation.
- Format for the Local Listening Session – The format for a three round listening session was provided in the Vademecum for the Synod on Synodality.
- Example Half-Day Listening Session (pdf) – This event could be planned for a Saturday morning or during a weekday evening.
- Recorder Note-taking Worksheet (pdf) – Use this worksheet to record notes during the listening session for local reflection.
- Fundamental Questions Handout (pdf) – Send the fundamental questions to those who will be participating in the listening session two weeks prior to the event so that they may prayerfully discern their responses.
Prayer for the Archdiocesan Phase of the Synod
Attributed to St. Isidore of Seville (560-636), it has been traditionally used at Councils and Synods for hundreds of years. The version below was specifically designed for the Church’s Synodal journey from 2021 to 2023.
We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name. With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it. We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions. Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right. All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen.