Rev. Keith Laskowski

January 15/16, 2022

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

HAVE YOUR HEARD ABOUT THE SYNOD ON SYNODALITY? Synod is an ancient word which means “journeying together.” It includes listening to the Holy Spirit and to each other in order to discern the path we are called to work together. Throughout Church history, there have been numerous Synods where the bishops from around the world discern and reflect on various
topics in the Church. Pope Francis has called a Synod 2021-2023: For a Synodal Church. This process has begun in October 2021 and will culminate in 2023 in Rome.

   In essence, this Synod is gathering reflections from all baptized Catholics about their experience of the Church in their local parishes and communities. This not only includes
regular church goers, but we want to reach out to those individuals who may no longer be practicing their faith. We want to listen to individuals who may feel excluded or marginalized from the Catholic Church. In other words, Pope Francis wants to hear from the whole Church. Perhaps you know someone that you can reach out to; invite them to participate in the Synod process. All of us must reflect on this question: How well do we really listen to one another?

   The first phase of this Synod is on the local level. Throughout the Diocese of Allentown, there are over 200 ambassadors who represent the various parishes. Saint Anthony and Our Lady of Mercy will be hosting listening sessions in late January and early February. These sessions
allow for people to be listened to and heard. TheAmbassador’s will compile the fruit of these listening sessions throughout the Diocese of Allentown. Each Diocese will present their findings to their regional Bishops Conference, and each regional conference will present their findings to the Global Synod in 2023.

   This multi-step process is an amazing process. The Synod “is intended to inspire people to dream about the Church we are called to be, to make people’s hopes flourish, to stimulate
trust, to bind up wounds, to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to build bridges, to enlighten minds, warm hearts, and restore strength to our hands for our common mission.” One basic question is: What is the Holy Spirit saying to our Church today? For more information, I encourage you to go to our parish website where you can find additional information about dates and times for listening sessions at our parish or other parishes throughout the diocese. There is also a link for an online survey if you wish to participate in this process without attending a listening session. Let your voice be heard! We want to hear from you! It is my prayer that this process, if we engage it, will allow us to
strengthen our listening heart. Listening to the Holy Spirit and listening to our brothers and sisters, we can all journey together in our walk with God.

Have a great week! 
-Father Keith