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What is the Synod?


Synod (syn-od, pronounced sin'ud) comes from Greek roots meaning to come together in order to move forward on a path. In a synod, the bishop calls his people together in order to move forward on a pathway.

Since the first council of Jerusalem to the present, the people of God, guided by the leadership of their shepherds, have grown by dialog and consultation about matters that pertain to our life within the Church and in the world. Since Vatican II, the synod has been revived as a major instrument of spiritual and pastoral renewal. Blessed John Paul II encouraged the use of synods as a means to carry out renewal within the universal Church.

Answering Blessed John Paul II's call for revival, our second Archbishop, Edward J. McCarthy, convened the First First General Synod in Miami in 1985.

We have now entered into the 3rd millennium of Christianity, and the challenges and opportunities present to the people of the Archdiocese of Miami are numerous; some are as old as the Church herself, others are products of the many changes in our world. 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.

The work of the Synod will be accomplished by a diverse group of volunteers, comprised of clergy, religious, and lay leaders from across the Archdiocese. Thousands will participate in one of many listening sessions held throughout the diocese or on various teams sponsored to address a certain area of focus surfaced during the listening sessions.

The listening sessions are a centerpiece of the Synod process. These are large town hall-type meetings to which all Catholics are invited. Participants at the listening sessions will be asked to individually reflect on three questions, then to further explore the questions in small groups, and finally, will be given the opportunity to share any comments with the larger group. The feedback gathered at the sessions will be collected and recorded, and will provide the foundation for the work of the Focus Area Teams.

Please click here for the Synod Listening Sessions Calendar

The final step in the process is the integration of all the input from the people of the Archdiocese and the work of the various teams into actionable goals and plans to guide the work of the Archbishop and the church for the next three to four years. The priorities and goals established as a result of the Synod process will be formally announced and the Synod concluded in October, 2013.

Synod Timeline

  • June 2012 - Archbishop's Listening Sessions
  • July - September 2012 - Parish Listening Sessions
  • September 2012 - February 2013 - Focus Team Planning
  • March 2013 - June 2013 - Integrated Plannning
  • Fall 2013 - Synod Closing and Assembly