Decree Announcing the First Synod
Archdiocese of Winnipeg Synod Moves to
Focus Commission Phase
The Archdiocese of Winnipeg Synod began last fall with a series of 13 Listening Sessions held throughout the archdiocese with nearly 800 people participating, including members of the clergy, and more participants who submitted their thoughts via the synod online survey.
The synod process now moves to Focus Commissions; nine groups of from six to eight people that will discuss and discern what the faithful of the archdiocese have said at the Listening Sessions, and the goals to be pursued.
The Focus Commission topics and team leaders are:
- New Evangelization and Missionary Outreach – Fr. Gerald Langevin, Helena Fitzgerald
- Catechetics and Faith Formation – Fr. Mark Tarrant, Judith Vasquez
- First Nations – Fr. Nicanor Sarmiento, omi, Barb Sutherland
- Youth and Young Adults – Fr. Len Altilia, sj, Christian Martinez
- Marriage and Family Life – Msgr. Maurice Comeault, Rachel Suarez-Bannerman
- Sacramental Preparation, Prayer, Devotional Life – Fr. Robert Polz, Alma Sevilla
- Vocations and Leadership – Fr. Darrin Gurr, Sr. Mary Coswin, osb
- Church Governance – Fr. Sam Argenziano, Susan Cosens
- Social Outreach – Deacon Robert Gate, Patti Fitzmaurice
- The Focus Commissions will be provided with the Report of Findings of the Listening Sessions to help guide their work. The report was produced by the Catholic Leadership Institute, a group retained by the archdiocese to help guide the synod process. To read the 10-page Report of Findings on the Listening Sessions, click here.
- The Focus Commissions’ tasks will be to answer the question: “How could we as an Archdiocese address the concerns and hopes raised in the Listening Sessions?”
- The recommendations that are put forth by the Focus Commissions will be “doable” actions that can be accomplished now and will have an impact in the near future.
- The Focus Commission’s recommendations are meant to assist in the subsequent synod phase, the Synod General Session, which will establish more concrete and specific actions.
- The final report of each Focus Commission (a white paper) will be 2-3 pages long and include an opening vision statement which reflects the hopes and concerns raised in the Listening Sessions, related theological reflection and a list of three to five recommendations.
- The Catholic Leadership Institute will lead an orientation and training session for team leaders on Jan. 17.
- The Focus Commissions will meet from February to April and will produce first drafts of white papers by May 1 to be circulated throughout the archdiocese for review and comment. The final draft of white papers will be completed in June to be presented to the Synod General Session in Fall, 2017.
Archbishop Richard Gagnon's Pastoral Letter on the Synod
The Archdiocese of Winnipeg has now entered its second century as a community of faith. What will our future bring? Our memories are seeds of hope! The Lord has indeed been with us and we want to claim our past in a spirit of gratitude for the gift of our faith. The experience of our 10 year Pastoral Vision from 2005-2015 has allowed us to reflect upon the way that we worship, how we teach, how we look after God’s gifts and how we live in community. Much good fruit has come from this!
The Synod Prayer
Synod Listening Sessions Begin
The faithful spoke and Archbishop Richard Gagnon listened as the Synod for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg held its first in a series of listening sessions to address three questions: What do you appreciate about your church? What is your vision for your archdiocese? What should be your church's priorities?
What is a Synod? (pronounced sin-uh d)
From Archbishop Gagnon's Pastoral Letter Announcing the Synod:
In the Church's Canon Law (c. 460) we read that the purpose of a diocesan synod is to foster the good of the entire diocesan community by calling together the clergy, religious and laity of the local church to deliberate on the pastoral needs of the diocese. Of all the institutions found in the Church to provide better governance, the diocesan synod is foremost. In a diocesan synod, which lasts several years, the bishop exercises his office of governing the church entrusted to his care. Through a consultative process, he determines the themes, questions and priorities to be discussed . In Canon Law we further learn that all those who participate in the synod, assist the bishop by freely and sincerely expressing their opinions relative to the questions under consideration. At the end of the process, the bishop determines which of the recommendations made by the Synod will be accepted and promulgated in the diocese.
Pope Francis calls a diocesan synod, an opportunity to walk together - a truly "wonderful experience where people walk and journey through history together with Our Lord who walks among us. We do not walk alone."
Synod Listening Sessions Scheduled
Synod Listening Sessions have been scheduled so that the voices of all of you, the people of the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, will be heard and added to the discussion about our local church today and your hope for our local church in the coming years.
- Tuesday, September 13 – North Winnipeg Deanery @ St. Anthony of Padua Parish (WK) beginning at 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, September 14 – Westman Deanery @ St. Augustine’s Parish, Brandon beginning at 7:00 p.m.
- Thursday, October 13 – South Winnipeg Deanery @ Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Winnipeg beginning at 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, October 15 – Parkland Deanery @ St. Viator’s Parish, Dauphin beginning at 1:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 19 – Central Winnipeg Deanery @ St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Winnipeg beginning at 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, November 5 – Interlake Deanery @ Christ the King Parish, Stonewall beginning at 10:00 a.m. Special sessions (more details to follow)
- With Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and Synod Preparatory Commission, Thursday, Sept 8 at 7 PM @ St Paul’s High School. Winnipeg.
- With First Nations communities and ministers
- Saturday, October 8, St Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, Winnipeg, 9;30 am to 2:00pm
- Tuesday October 18, Waywayseecappo First Nation, 10 am
- Other dates with Frist nations communities to be determined
- With youth and young adults, Saturday, October 22, St Peter’s Parish, Winnipeg, 9:30 am
- At Chez Nous / Our Place Drop-in Centre, Winnipeg, date to be determined