Pope Francis is inviting us!
Your Pastor, the Pastoral Council, and Synod coordinators are inviting us!
All of us.

Probably most of us have never been asked to help shape the mission and direction of the Catholic Church. Now is our chance! All Catholics and people of good will are invited to share our dreams about becoming a church where all people journey together in service to each other and to our God (your Kingdom come!). We’ve never received an invitation like this before and it is the Pope asking. How can you say “no?”

Pope Francis has called for a Synod on Synodality. The word synodality is derived from two Greek words meaning common road, thus “journeying together.” He is challenging us to listen deeply to each other, especially to those often ignored or forgotten, in a Spirit led dialogue in order to reach consensus on our mission in the world. That involves naming what is good, identifying hurts, and healing wounds by responding in love to our broken world—to be, as Pope Francis says, a field hospital – and so to begin to create a healing, hope filled church; to be true disciples of Jesus. Quite a charge!

We are asked to address one fundamental question: “How does this ‘journeying together’…allow the Church to proclaim the Gospel in accordance with the mission entrusted to Her; and what steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow as a synodal Church?”

Early in February we will begin listening sessions. The Vatican has proposed open ended questions to help guide our discussions: questions for us to “chew on” together in order to answer the fundamental question. For this reason, we believe coming together in person is the most promising way to share with each other our hopes and dreams for our Church. We are fully aware of the covid risks and will be arranging Zoom options for anyone who prefers this. We’ll also provide opportunities to participate in writing. A summary of the results of the sessions will be sent to the Diocese by May 1, 2022.

Everyone’s participation is key, so we would greatly appreciate it if you begin this journey by doing the following:

  1. Complete an online survey to provide your preferred days/times to meet (due January 16th)
  2. Join our email list and follow us on Facebook
  3. Consider volunteering to assist in this process by contacting the Synod Coordinators
  4. Pray the Synod Prayer daily, as requested by Pope Francis of all Catholics throughout the world and join with our sisters and brothers in praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we share our dreams for our Church

All Synod Parish Resources can be found on the St. Agnes website. Additional information will be emailed and posted on our website in the coming weeks, so please check back often for updates.

Pope Francis believes that synodality, ‘journeying together” is the way of the Church in the 3rd Millennium. Don’t pass up this opportunity to be Church in new ways!

Joyfully,
Synod Coordinators:  Eileen Elliott (eepeachlan@gmail.com) and Helen Harris hlharrismusic@comcast.net)
Pastoral Council Rep., Kathryn McAteer (Kathryn.mcateer@gmail.com)
Pastor:  Fr. Andrew M. Switzer (aswitzer@stagnesshepherdstown.org)