From Fr. Joe:
Dear Friends – Pope Francis has asked each and all of us to participate in a Synod. The Church has had several synods – especially since the Second Vatican Council. What does synod mean? Think of your odometer… it tells you how many miles your car has, or how long it has been on ‘the way’, and ‘syn’ is a prefix meaning ‘together’, thus synod means “together on the way”. So this synod is a chance for us to be together on the way… and the topic for this synod is “for a synodal Church”. Normally a synod is ‘on’ a topic… “on the priesthood”, “on the family” – this one is clearly a little different, or even a lot different. This synod is for something… it is for a Church that walks together.
Christ constantly heard, saw, reached out, included, lifted up, fed, healed, engaged, challenged and reconciled – this is what Pope Francis is asking us to do in this synodal process. I know we are asked to do surveys all the time, after a purchase, for a free gift, at the end of a call to customer service… and I, for one, typically skip them… but this one is different. Some questions will feel like the don’t apply; some may seem obvious or ridiculous to you; some may make you feel hopeful, others infuriated; some may convict you and some may be the seed of a call… but each of them give you a moment to speak… and hopefully be heard. This will not be the only step in the synodal process, because ‘the way’ is more than a step, it is a path – a path we are called to walk together as the baptized. So, whether you are Catholic or non-Catholic, have a home or are homeless, feel included or excluded, I encourage you to fill out this survey. Your responses are anonymous.
If you are a parishioner of St. John Neumann or live within Farragut or Hardin Valley [which are largely the boundaries of St. John Neumann] – I invite you to use the survey prayerfully to speak so that we can all learn from one another, members of the Body of Christ, how we might walk together as the Church.