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Frequently Asked Questions about the Second General Synod of the Archdiocese of Miami

What is a Synod?

In a synod, the bishop calls his people together in order to move forward on a pathway. The goal of the synod is to set pastoral priorities for the future and inspire and engage the People of God to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Why did Archbishop Wenski convoke this Synod?

Archbishop Wenski believes that in order for the church to meet the challenges of this third millennia of Christianity, pastoral planning is absolutely vital, and that this planning must include the input of the people of the Archdiocese. The Archbishop cherishes the wisdom and talent that rests among the People of God and is looking forward to how the Holy Spirit can work through every Catholic in Miami in our call to be "Disciples in Faith and Missionaries of Hope."

This is the "Second General Synod" When was the first?

The First General Synod of the Archdiocese of Miami was convened by Archbishop Edward McCarthy in 1985 and was concluded in 1988.

What do we expect to complete at the end of this process?

The desired outcome of the Synod is to determine a course of action for the local church, one consisting of specific and attainable goals which will then be implemented during the following three to four years. This pastoral plan will be published and promulgated at the conclusion of the Synod, in the Fall of 2013.

How long will the Synod last?

The Synod process will last eighteen months; it was convoked at the Chrism Mass on April 3, 2012, and will close at the final Synod Assembly in the Fall of 2013.

Who can participate in the Synod?

All Catholics are invited to participate in the Synod. Click here for opportunities to participate

I'm curious about the theme, "Disciples in Faith, Missionaries of Hope" – what is the significance behind it?

During his homily at the Chrism Mass, Archbishop Wenski referred to the challenge we each face: to discern what is expected of us, both in our life within the Church and in the world. Archbishop Wenski believes that this is a time both of great change and opportunity, and that our response to this challenge must be to continue to root ourselves in our deep faith and belief in our Savior, Jesus Christ, while simultaneously moving our faith forward into whatever the future holds, bringing hope to our own future as the people of God. The phrase "Disciples in Faith, Missionaries of Hope" also connects to the theme of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean that took place in Aparacedia, Brazil in 2007. The theme of that conference was "Disciples and missionaries of Jesus Christ, so that our Peoples may have life in Him."

Who should I contact if I have questions about the Synod?

The Synod office staff is happy to answer any questions you have about the Synod. For more information please send an e-mail to or contact Rosemarie Banich at the Synod Office at 305-762-1189.

Who is invited to the Listening Sessions?

Any and all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Miami. Click here for the Synod Listening Sessions Calendar.

What if I can't make the Listening Session scheduled for my area?

You are invited to attend any or all of the Listening Sessions, no matter the deanery or county.

Will this information really be used?

Absolutely! The Archbishop, the Synod Leadership Team and the Focus Area Teams are eager to learn of your needs and expectations for our Church. We cannot plan without knowing what people need. In fact, the Focus Teams will be created based on the common themes and needs identified from these sessions.

What if I have more suggestions than can fit on this survey form?

Please submit as many forms, as many ideas as you wish, to the Synod Office.

If I speak at a Listening Session do I still have to hand in my form?

We would ask that you do. While Synod volunteers will be ferociously capturing notes, handing in your written responses to the questions will ensure that your thoughts are captured accurately in the planning process.

Will there be more listening sessions?

Yes. Parishes are encouraged to host their own Listening Sessions and there may be additional opportunities for various constituencies to gather and share their responses to these questions. Check the Synod Listening Sessions Calendar regularly for the most current information.

What if I cannot attend any of the Listening Sessions; how can I submit my input to the Synod?

After the conclusion off the Archbishop's Listening Session, there will be an online opportunity for submission of feedback. Check the Synod webpage for the link to that online feedback option beginning in July, 2012.

Can I participate in the planning process?

Yes! Those who are interested can potentially serve as a member of or a resource to one of the 15 Focus Area Teams. For more information please send an e-mail to or contact Rosemarie Banich at the Synod Office at 305-762-1189.

What happens after the Listening Sessions?

All of the Feedback Forms as well as the comments made during the Listening Sessions will be collected and recorded. The Synod Leadership Team and the Focus Area Teams will then review your feedback in order to discern the best possible actions and a plan for implementation.