Fourth Synod Compiled Acts, Declarations and Statutes

Catholic Times November 26, 2017

Lex Cordis Caritas The Law of the Heart is Love

Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki Bishop of Springfield in Illinois

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ: We are now coming to the conclusion of our Fourth Diocesan Synod, which has spanned most of this calendar year. On Sunday, January 22 nd , we held the Prayer Service for the Opening of the Preliminary Phase of the Diocesan Synod at our Cathedral in Springfield. The Synod Preparatory Commission developed a series of questions inviting people to reflect on the meaning of discipleship in their lives, namely, that being a disciple is to have entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Following our listening session on April 2 nd in each Deanery connected by video conference to hear the needs, desires and opinions of the faithful regarding the proposed synodal topics, the official opening of the Fourth Diocesan Synod took place in the context of the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral on Tuesday of Holy Week, April 11 th . The first session of the members of the Diocesan Synod took place on Saturday, May 20 th , in the Cathedral Atrium. The members of the Synod include those specified by canon law, such as the members of the Presbyteral Council, the Deans and the leaders of religious communities serving in our diocese, as well as one appointed delegate from each of our 129 parishes, for a total of over 200 Synod Members. At this first meeting we discussed a working draft of the proposed Synodal Declarations, addressing the question of how we as a diocese could be committed to discipleship and stewardship as a way of life. During the summer and early autumn, I conducted a number of listening sessions about our synodal topics, during which I consulted with our permanent deacons and their wives, consecrated religious women and men, as well as the priests of our diocese during our Convocation of Priests. The second session of the members of the Synod took place on September 9 th , during which a first draft of Synodal Statutes was proposed and discussed along with the Synodal Declarations. On Sunday, September 24 th , we held our second listening session in each Deanery connected by video conference to receive feedback on the revised Synodal Declarations. Following the suggestions and modifications made by the members of the Synod, as well as those offered by the priests, deacons, consecrated religious and lay Christian faithful through the various consultations over the past several months, I revised the proposed Diocesan Synodal Declarations and Statutes in light of the feedback that I


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