The first Listening Session for the Diocesan Phase for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops, “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” is Feb. 9, 2022, St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. An additional 10 more Listening Sessions are scheduled at strategic locations throughout the Diocese through late May with several offering opportunities in Spanish.
“For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” is a worldwide effort for a “deeper communion, fuller participation, and greater openness to fulfilling our mission in the world,” according to Bishop Frank J. Dewane.
“These upcoming Listening Sessions are an important exercise in just that – listening,” Bishop Dewane said. “Pope Francis has asked us for our input. It’s important for us to listen to each other, and to the Holy Spirit as a community and discern what God is calling us to do; to learn how to become the Church that God calls us to be.”
Listening Session locations were selected based of geography and population to cover as much of the Diocese as possible. All are welcome! For those unable to attend a live Session, a virtual Listening Session will be held later in May, with the date to be announced. The Diocese has also set up a dedicated email for those who wish to email their thoughts to email@example.com.
All Listening Sessions will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (See the box below for the location of each Session.) It is asked that those who wish to participate register in advance for planning purposes. To register, or to see the list of all 11 Listening Sessions, visit https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/2022-synod-listening-sessions.
During each Listening Session there will be an introduction and then a table discussion on the key themes of the “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission.” The broad themes to be explored are: Companions on the Journey; Listening; Speaking Out; Celebration; Sharing Responsibility for our Common Mission; Dialogue in Church and Society; Ecumenism; Authority and Participation; Discerning and Deciding; Forming Ourselves in Synodality. Each table will then share the fruit of their discussion to the larger group.
Information gathered at the Diocesan Listening Sessions will be synthesized into a document which will be shared with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and ultimately the Vatican. Similar Listening Sessions are to be held across the globe. “Synod” is an ancient and venerable word in the tradition of the Catholic Church, and synodality expresses the idea that the entire Church walk forward together, listening to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Pope Francis has identified that this path of walking together is the most effective way of manifesting and putting into practice the nature of the Church as the pilgrim and missionary people of God.
Diocese of Venice Listening Sessions
Wednesday, Feb. 9, St. Thomas More Parish, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota (Eng.);
Wednesday, Feb. 16, Epiphany Cathedral, 350 Tampa Ave. W. Venice (Eng./Sp.);
Tuesday, Feb. 22, Ss. Peter and Paul the Apostles Parish, 2850 75th St. W., Bradenton (Eng./Sp.);
Thursday, March 3, St. Andrew Parish, 2628 Del Prado Blvd., Cape Coral (Eng./Sp.);
Monday, March 14, St. John XXIII Parish, 13060 Palomino Lane, Fort Myers (Eng.);
Wednesday, March 16, Sacred Heart Parish, 211 W. Charlotte Ave., Punta Gorda (Eng.);
Thursday, March 24; St. Elizabeth Seton Parish, 5225, Golden Gate Parkway (Eng./Sp.).
Monday, March 28, St. John the Evangelist Parish, 625 111th Ave. N., Naples (Eng.);
Monday, May 9, St. Catherine Parish, 820 Hickory St., Sebring (Eng./Sp);
Monday, May 16, St. Agnes Parish, 7775 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples (Eng.);
Monday, May 23, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, 355 S. Bridge St., LaBelle (Eng./Sp).
To allow for the most participants, please register for only one Listening Session at https://dioceseofvenice.regfox.com/2022-synod-listening-sessions.