Synod 2021 2023 for a synodal Church

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Synod on Synodality

Communion, Participation, and MissionSynod 2021

Synod 2021-2023

Pope Francis has invited the Catholic Church throughout the world to participate in preparations for the next Synod of Bishops in Rome, in October 2023. 

A Synod of Bishops, from the Greek word “to journey together,” is a gathering of bishops called by the Holy Father to reflect and to offer counsel on important pastoral matters in the life of the Church. 

The 2023 Synod will be on the subject of “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission”-that is, on synodality.  Synodality concerns the People of God journeying together, and reflecting together on the journey, so as to live communion, to achieve participation, and to be open to mission.

In preparation for the Synod, Pope Francis has asked that every diocese undertake its own Synodal Phase of local consultations:  through prayerful listening and discernment rooted in the Holy Spirit, the entire People of God is called to contribute to an undertaking by which the Church deepens in understanding of Her mission and looks toward the future.

Everyone in the Diocese of Arlington is invited to participate in the Diocesan Synodal Phase, which will involve in-person Listening Sessions at the local level:  in parishes, at universities and schools, at Catholic Charities, and at other locations. We will also reach out to include those who are no longer active in the faith, and those on the margins of the Church and society, that we may understand what distances them from the Church and how we might accompany them. 

The in-person Listening Sessions will take place from February through April, 2022.  Specific information on how to participate will be communicated through diocesan and parish media.

The fundamental question to be considered is this:  A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together,” by proclaiming, celebrating, and living the Gospel as we make our way to the Promised Land of Heaven. How is this “journeying together” happening today in your local Church? What steps does the Spirit invite us to take to grow in “journeying together”?

Through the synodal process, the people of the Diocese of Arlington, along with the whole Church throughout the world, will grow in deepening our commitment to proclaiming, celebrating, and living the Gospel.


  • October, 2021: Inauguration of Diocesan Synodal Phase, Appointment of Synodal Team
  • November-December, 2021:  Diocesan Synodal Phase Planning
  • January, 2022:  Listening Session Preparatory Materials Provided
  • February-April, 2022:  Listening Sessions
  • May-June, 2022:  Consolidation of Feedback and Drafting of Diocesan Report
  • May 11, 2022:  Diocesan Pre-Synod Meeting
  • June 30, 2022:  Diocesan Report Delivered to USCCB

Saint Isidore in preparation for the 2023 Synod Bishops in Rome, Pope Francis has asked every local Church to undertake their own Synodal phase of prayful listening, dialogue and discernment, on how the Church is journeying together and fulfilling our mission in the world. We invite you to come to our Listening Session on Monday Apil 11, 2022 at 6:30 pm at St. Isidore. We also encourage you to invite anyone you may know who has fallen away from the practice of faith, and anyone who is spiritually or materially marginalized.