The Listening Church

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]”In April 2021, Pope Francis initiated a synodal journey of the whole People of God, beginning in October 2021 and culminating in October 2023 in the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops…Through the end of the year, all baptized Catholics will be invited participate in this process of listening, dreaming, and discerning God’s call for the Church amid the present signs of the times.”

Those words are taken from the Diocese of Cleveland’s website.

It is not within the scope of this blog post to discuss the Synod of Bishops or its implications. Rather, it is an effort to make you aware that we are now a listening church, your voice wants to be heard, and there are opportunities to do so. As a famous sitcom put it, “Festivus for the rest of us.”

Over the next several weeks, “listening sessions” will be available at various parishes. The understanding is that these listening sessions are not bound to the registered members of a particular parish; the sessions are open to “all the People of God.”

Looking over the diocesan materials, the sessions seem to have an intricate process. You can read about that more for yourself if you want.

Currently, there are a few of these local listening sessions already scheduled.

A Friend wrote the following:

As our Church has expressed the desire to be a listening church, we should take the opportunity at hand to have our voices heard. If you are not aware, there is an ongoing Synod on Synodality and listening sessions are starting soon. You are permitted to attend as many of these listening sessions as you desire and at more churches than your own parish where you are registered. Please do voice your opinions but do so respectfully. If you discover more opportunities than are posted, please comment below and the post will be updated. The following have been scheduled:

At Saint Malachi – 2459 Washington Avenue – Cleveland Ohio 44113
Sat. Dec 4 at 5 PM in-person in St Malachi Hall
Sun. Dec 5 at 11 AM in-person in St Malachi Hall
Mon. Jan 3 at 7 PM online
Wed. Jan 5 at 7 PM online
Thu. Jan 6 at 10 AM online
Sat. Jan 8 at 11 AM online

At Saint Patrick on Bridge – 3602 Bridge Avenue – Cleveland Ohio 44113
Sun. Jan 9 at 9:45 AM in-person in St Patrick Lower Hall
Sun. Jan 9 at 4 PM online

St. Malachi and St. Patrick Synods

To attend a session at either Saint Patrick or Saint Malachi please email Christy Bartley, St Patrick Communication Coordinator, at

At Saint Raphael – 525 Dover Center Road – Bay Village Ohio 44140
Tue. Jan 4 at 7PM in the community room
Tue. Jan 18 at 7PM in the community room
Tue. Jan 25 at 7PM in the community room

It appears no reservations are required for Saint Raphael

Please make an effort to make it out to these listening sessions!

If the Faithful don’t speak up, then others with less pious intentions probably will. Just sayin’.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

1 thought on “The Listening Church

  1. During a recent synodal conversation, I encountered some folks who I think might be subscribers to your blog, and I found myself wanting to continue the conversation with them. But since they were strangers to this parish, I didn’t know how to reach them. Maybe they will see this comment.

    We were talking about our different feelings about how to receive the Eucharist—whether kneeling and on the tongue or standing, and receiving in the hand. I’ve been thinking about that conversation ever since, and how different that Last Supper would have looked if, instead of breaking the bread and handing it to the disciples as they sat with him at the table, Jesus had stood over them and fed them like little sparrows. They might have felt loved and cared for, I suppose, but he had already told them, “You’re worth more than many sparrows.” They were worth more, and much more was expected of them. Would they have felt the depth of this challenge he was placing before them if they had not received his Body with their eyes, their hands, and their hearts, and then—lifting that Sacred Body to their own mouths, demonstrated by an act of their will their desire to follow his instructions, even though they couldn’t understand this unfathomable mystery?

    I love the Novus Ordo, and am so grateful for this gift we’ve received from the Church. Recently, I’ve attended TLM just to be closer to brothers and sisters who feel very differently. I want very much to answer Jesus’s prayer to the Father—that we all be one, and not divided into factions that despise and distrust each other. Thank you for providing this blog so that at least by reading it I can try to understand your thinking, even if I can’t share it.

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