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Bishop Raica Opens Diocesan Phase of Synod 2021-2023
On Sunday, Oct. 17, Bishop Raica opened the diocesan phase of Synod 2021-2023, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.” The synodal process, which Pope Francis has invited the entire Church to partake in, will focus primarily on “how responsibility and power are lived in the Church as well as the structures by which they are managed, bringing light and trying to convert prejudices and distorted practices that are not rooted in the Gospel.” More succinctly, the process, according to Bishop Raica, “is meant to help us organize ourselves in a way that is able to listen for and detect the thread of the Holy Spirit active among us.”
In the Diocese of Birmingham, the synodal process will be divided into so-called seasons: communion, participation, and mission. The first season, communion, which will last until December, will include evenings of prayer with Bishop Raica, enthroning of the Word of God in homes, and gatherings for eucharistic adoration and confession. The next season, participation, will begin in January and continue through March of 2022. The season of participation will include dialogue sessions with clergy, religious, and laity. The final season of the diocesan phase is mission. During this season, the feedback from the first two seasons will be gathered and compiled as a “synthesis” document to be sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The USCCB will join all other countries in sending their contributions for use in the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October of 2023. Find out more about the diocesan phase at bhmdiocese.org/synod.