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Listen to Bishop Hicks' Homily during the Opening Mass for the Diocesan phase of the Synodal Process. October 17, 2021

Bishop Hicks and the Diocese of Joliet hosted our inaugural Mass, initiating the diocesan phase, on October 17, 2021. The next phase of the synod will take place at the continental level in 2022, and finally it will end at the universal level in Rome in 2023.

Pope Francis’ hope, in line with his emphasis on the Church being intrinsically synodal, is to invite the world (believers, non-believers, the marginalized, the poor, etc.) to participate and talk about how the Church is living out its communion, participation and mission

The diocesan phase consists of each diocesan Church hosting “listening sessions” for its people. In the Diocese of Joliet, we are attempting to set these up through the various councils and already established ministries. For the parishes, Bishop Hicks has asked his Diocesan Pastoral Council to coordinate a dialogue through their network of deanery gatherings of parish council representatives.

Parish listening sessions may take many forms – surveys, meetings, large group gatherings, phone or door-to-door campaigns - and we are especially encouraging the use of social media and other technological means. The goal is to cast the net far and wide to hear from as many people as possible. Parishes are welcome to organize these listening sessions as they see fit. 

Information on the synod themes and questions, together with the Church’s understanding of the Synod on Synodality, can be found in the links below. Remember that these dialogues should be perceived as “listening sessions,” and not debates. Points of view should be received with respect and without argument.  There is no need for "consensus." 

The guiding principles proposed for this dialogue suggest that we do the following:

  1. Speak boldly (even in our differences)
  2. Listen in dialogue
  3. Discern the truth

It is important to remember that the point of this process is the dialogue itself, rather than any consensus or written conclusions. Perhaps your discussion will inspire the formation of a new ministry or a new approach to existing ministry. In some cases, these conversations may inspire a new way of thinking, act as an opportunity to hear new voices, or invite further discussion that extends far beyond the synod.

The Diocese of Joliet will eventually produce a document sharing some of the results of our dialogue. Parishes are therefore welcome to share the results of their discussions with the Diocesan Pastoral Council members, who will in turn share them with our diocesan synod team.

We believe this process presents an extraordinary opportunity, especially in the wake of a very divisive and isolating pandemic, for the Church to engage the people in new and exciting ways. 


Synod Timeline
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Synod Links
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Bishop Hicks' November Column: The Synod on Synodality: A worldwide listening tour
Synod on Synodality - Main Page (USCCB website)
Vademecum for the Syond on Synodality (USCCB website)
Synod Preparatory Document (USCCB website)
Suggestions for Discussion at Parish and Deanery Meetings
Adsumus, Sancte Spiritus - Prayer of Invocation


Contact Information
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Each diocese is to appoint a contact person for the Synod on Synodality.  The diocesan contact person has the following responsibilities:

  • Serves as a liaison between the Diocese and the episcopal conference (the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops / USCCB)
  • Serves as the point of reference for parishes and other groups in the diocese regarding the synodal consultation
  • Serves as the main contact person for the bishop regarding the synodal process

The contact person for the Diocese of Joliet is the chancellor, David Salvato. Click here to e-mail.

Bishop Hicks has asked his Diocesan Pastoral Council to coordinate the parish-level synodal dialogue.  To get in touch with your deanery representative to the pastoral council, contact the bishop's executive assistant, Alex Rechenmacher. Click here to e-mail.