How to Prepare for the Synod Listening Session

02-20-2022From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

Last Thursday, about 60 eighth grade members of our parish received the Sacrament of Confirmation. I want to thank them for being faithful to the process by which they prepared for Confirmation, which included classes, a retreat, and reflecting on the homilies they heard at Holy Mass. Please keep them in your prayers and that they strive to live by the Spirit Who strengthened them in this sacrament.

This coming Friday, February 25, our parish will host a Listening Session for the Synod called by Pope Francis. I devoted my column in the January 22 – 23 bulletin to explain what the Synod is. In short, Pope Francis’ hope is that it will be a time for Catholics around the world to prayerfully think about the Church, her mission in the world, and the part each of us plays in that mission.

The key word here is prayerfully. The Synod Listening Session is not like a political meeting in which people argue for their point of view. Rather, it is a time for people to share the fruit of their prayerful reflection on the questions the Holy Father proposed.

For this to happen, it is essential that anyone who wishes to share something at the Listening Session take time for serious prayer. The Mass, our most powerful and important prayer, is especially necessary in this whole process. Indeed, one of the reflection questions is: “How does your prayer life and the celebration of Sunday Mass inspire and inform your personal decisions and decisions in the parish community?”

With this in mind, I am going to offer a three point plan for preparing for the Synod Listening Session:

  1. Pray over the questions (you can find them in the January 22 – 23 bulletin and on line).

  2. Take time to reflect on the homily and readings you heard at Mass this Sunday (or Saturday evening).

  3. Go to Confession, if possible, between now and Friday evening. Do this especially if it’s been a while since your last Confession.

You can find more information about the Listening Session on the parish website. While not essential, it would be great if you could call the office and let us know if you will be attending. This always helps us plan more effectively.

Regardless of whether you attend the Listening Session, please pray over the basic question of the Synod: What part do you play in the mission that Jesus has given to His Church?

Thanks to everyone who attended Monsignor Corona’s Funeral or Memorial Masses. Our prayers for him are a great gift to him. Thanks also to those who attended Monsignor Lawler’s Funeral. May our good God reward the labors of these two faithful and long serving priests.

Please remember to pray a Hail Mary for me today and every day, and be assured of my prayers for you.

Have a great week!
Fr. John