By Sister Katie Eiffe, CSJ

Note: Sister Katie is the Diocesan Vicar for Religious and Director of Synodal Planning.

Listening Sessions with Bishop Douglas J. Lucia, in preparation for the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, continue throughout the Diocese.  As of Dec. 9, there have been eight listening sessions held in various regions. In each session, people have spoken “freely, boldly and courageously,” as the Holy Father has asked, and (with few exceptions) have listened attentively to the many speakers.

It is clear that people have spoken from their hearts, and many have expressed gratitude to the Bishop for his presence with them.

Not surprisingly, there has been a wide range of opinions offered on a wide range of issues.  Note: These are not listed in any particular “order” indicating priority. Rather, it is an attempt to share what we have heard. Among the most common topics are the following: a concern regarding the priest shortage and the well-being of pastors with multiple parishes; the role of women in the Church; reverence for the Eucharist and a concern that many do not understand the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ; a concern about Catholic public figures who “support abortion”;  the need for ongoing and lifelong catechesis—many adults and children do not know the faith; the climate crisis; a desire to reach out to those who for whatever reason have left the Church; a desire to reach out to youth and young adults; a desire for the Church to be inclusive and welcoming, while still protecting the doctrine of the Church; and a desire that the Church be more pastorally present to those whose marriage situations are difficult.

At the same time, many have expressed deep gratitude for their parishes, pastors and lay ministers in the Church. They have spoken movingly about how their needs have been met and their faith nourished in situations both joyful and difficult. They have spoken of the gift of community that they have found in their parish and in the Diocesan Church. Many have also spoken of their respect for Pope Francis and for Bishop Lucia.

All in all, we have been grateful for the honesty and courage with which people have shared their hopes, dreams and concerns.

Below is a list of upcoming listening sessions. Please join us. Know also that we will plan more listening sessions in the coming months, with a broader range of dates and times. Please join us! “We are listening!”

A Message to Women Religious in the Diocese

The Listening Session for Sisters with Bishop Lucia on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, will be held at Holy Cross Church in DeWitt, in Monsignor Yeazel Hall, 10:00 a.m.–noon,

followed by lunch. If you did not receive a letter of invitation from Sister Katie Eiffe, please call her at (315) 470-1473. RSVPs are due by Dec. 27.


Diocesan Synodal Listening Sessions Schedule (as of 12/9/21)

Thursday, December 9th 6:30-8:30PM Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Syracuse

Monday, December 13th 6:30-8:30PM St. Vincent-Blessed Sacrament Church, Vestal

Wednesday, December 15th 6:30-8:30PM St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Binghamton

Tuesday, January 4th 6:30-8:30PM St. Anthony & St. Agnes Church, Utica

Wednesday, January 5th 6:30-8:30PM All Saints Church, Syracuse

(Taizé Prayer 5:45-6:30PM)

Thursday, January 6th 6:30-8:30PM Our Lady of Lourdes, Windsor

Tuesday, January 25th 6:30-8:30PM St. Paul’s Church, Rome

Wednesday, January 26th 6:30-8:30PM St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Baldwinsville

Thursday, January 27th 6:30-8:30PM St. John the Baptist Church, Syracuse

Monday, January 31st 6:30-8:30PM St. Malachy (Church Hall), Sherburne

Tuesday, February 1st 6:30-8:30PM St. Joan of Arc, Morrisville

(Holy Hour 5:30-6:30PM)

Thursday, February 3rd 6:30-8:30PM St. John the Evangelist, New Hartford

Monday, February 7th 6:30-8:30PM Holy Family, Syracuse

Wednesday, February 9th 6:30-8:30PM Holy Trinity Church Gym (Utica)

Monday, February 28th 6:30-8:30PM Christ the Good Shepherd, Oswego

Tuesday, March 22nd 6:30-8:30PM St. Mary’s Church, Cortland

Wednesday, March 23rd 6:30-8:30PM St. Joseph’s, LaFayette

Monday, April 4th 6:30-8:30PM St. Joseph’s Boonvillet

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