Catholic parishes in Yankton are preparing to embark on a journey of reflection to discern a defining theme for the life and mission of the Catholic Church — and people of all faiths are invited to participate.
The whole process, which will take two years, began last fall with an invitation from Pope Francis to all parishes to participate in what is called the “Synod on Synodality,” an opportunity for each individual to listen to the Holy Spirit and share what they hear.
According to the Vatican’s website, “Walking together and reflecting together on the journey, the Church will be able to learn from what she will experience which processes can help her to live communion, to achieve participation, to open to mission”.
Moreover, although synods are often associated with the Catholic faith, this effort aims for a broader contribution.
It’s a Catholic thing and a human thing, Father. Bob Lacey, associate pastor of Yankton parishes of St. Benedict and Sacred Heart, told Press & Dakotan.
“It’s open to all believers,” he said. “It’s Catholics, non-practicing Catholics, people of goodwill – anyone.”
A synod is an opportunity to sit together and listen to each other to come to a conclusion. Participants listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying in the heart of each believer about what the church needs today, Lacey said.
“It’s specifically about hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, across the full spectrum of Christian people, and doing it in the least filtered way possible,” he said. “If there is ever anything that has been deeply imprinted on your heart by God, we would like to know about it.”
There will be an online survey available Feb. 1-28, and paper forms and drop boxes will be available at each of Yankton’s Catholic churches.
“The paper survey would be available for one person to take and prayerfully go through and return to the parish,” he said, noting that every parish in the diocese will participate in one way or another. another one.
“It’s a bit of beauty. It’s not just one size fits all, but it’s individualized by region, by diocese,” Lacey said.
There will also be an in-person event scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 30 at Sacred Heart Parish, where participants can work through the questions together and in groups.
“We will sit together, pray and listen to the Holy Spirit speak,” he said. “I’m going to take a little time and pray a little, read the scriptures, have a moment of silent reflection, and then we’ll break into small groups and have a discussion: ‘What have I heard from God? What have I heard from God, what the Holy Spirit means?’ »
Lacey added that the synod is not an opportunity to evaluate things like the pastor, the quality of the religious song or the liturgy.
“This is not a referendum on which elements of faith need to be changed,” he said. “What he’s really asking is what has God said deep in your heart and what does the church need today?”
The event the church is involved in is big, but simple, Lacey said.
“I really want people to know that we as a diocese are ready to listen,” he said. “I think we, as a diocese and a whole church, are really much more capable of listening than we perhaps have been in the past.”
Surveys will be available from February 1 to 28. Participants are encouraged to complete the online survey. A review copy of the questions can be downloaded from www.sfcatholic.org/synod/.
Those who cannot access the online survey can pick up a paper survey at the south and east entrances to Sacré-Coeur Parish and at the main entrance to Saint-Benoît Parish. There will be a drop box to leave completed paper surveys.
Verbal comments/surveys will only be taken as part of the January 30 event.