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Synod begins second phase

Focus teams begin meeting, studying issues raised at listening sessions

Deacon Dennis Jordan, center, of Blessed Trinity Parish speaks with Deacon Carl Carieri of St. Maximilian Kolbe as Deacon Roberto Pineda of St. Joseph Parish looks over the Synod focus team documents.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Deacon Dennis Jordan, center, of Blessed Trinity Parish speaks with Deacon Carl Carieri of St. Maximilian Kolbe as Deacon Roberto Pineda of St. Joseph Parish looks over the Synod focus team documents.

Synod working book distributed to diaconate focus team members.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Synod working book distributed to diaconate focus team members.

MIAMI | The second phase of the archdiocesan Synod officially began Oct. 23 when the first focus team met. Their topic was the permanent diaconate.

There are 13 Synod focus teams whose members will meet once a month between now and January 2013 to study the issues raised at the listening sessions that took place earlier this year. Team members are tasked with coming up with SMART recommendations — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely — for the archdiocese to implement.

"We have two or three meetings every week for the next three months," said Rosemarie Banich, Synod director, who will be facilitating more than half of those meetings. The others will be facilitated by Ricardo Luzondo of St. Francis de Sales Parish in Miami Beach, who facilitated some of the Spanish-language listening sessions.

Banich explained that each team has between 20 and 40 members, with some in the 50-60 range. "A lot of the work is going to be done in pairs or triads," she noted.

Much of the work is also going to be done between meetings, but team members were aware that their monthly meetings would take place between 1 and 4 p.m. on weekdays — with lunch served at noon for those who have the time. The only exception to that is the campus ministry team, which will meet from 6:30-9:30 p.m. with optional dinner at 5:30 p.m.

“Many of them are taking time off from work. And we appreciate it,” said Banich. “There aren’t enough Saturdays in the calendar to host 13 meetings (a month). And by no means are Saturdays ideal. People have a lot of commitments.”

Half of the team meetings are taking place at the Pastoral Center, and the others are spread out among other sites, including St. Thomas University and St. Mary Cathedral, St. Rose of Lima, St. Thomas the Apostle, and Our Lady of the Lakes parishes.

Many team members did not know what team they would be on when they were commissioned at the opening of the Year of Faith Mass Oct. 13, but everyone knows now.

“The lists (of members) are pretty impressive. The process really did work,” said Banich. “So far the response has been very happy: ‘Thank you so much, this is the team I wanted to be on.’”

A complete list of teams and team members will be published soon on the web and in the November edition of the Florida Catholic.
Synod team members focusing on the permanent diaconate begin their meeting with the Synod prayer: From left: John Clarke of Nativity Parish, Jim Duggard of St. Louis Parish, and Javier Inga of St. John the Apostle, all deacons in formation; and Deacons Ernesto Del Riego of St. Agatha and Roberto Fleitas of Little Flower in Coral Gables.

Photographer: ANA RODRIGUEZ-SOTO | FC

Synod team members focusing on the permanent diaconate begin their meeting with the Synod prayer: From left: John Clarke of Nativity Parish, Jim Duggard of St. Louis Parish, and Javier Inga of St. John the Apostle, all deacons in formation; and Deacons Ernesto Del Riego of St. Agatha and Roberto Fleitas of Little Flower in Coral Gables.

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