Between early December 2021 and mid-January 2022, St Malachi and St Patrick held five Parish Listening Sessions and two Ministry Listening Sessions (with guests who utilize our food ministries). Using Diocese Parish Life Office guidelines, we engaged with a total of 70 participants. Unfortunately, we were unable to attract non-attending parishioners. We reached about 63 engaged parishioners and 7 guests of our outreach ministries.
Responders repeatedly expressed desire for inclusivity and unity. A number of participants from the Latin Mass community expressed their concerns about being excluded from Church life.
In the area of dreams and aspirations, a call to reach out to disaffected Catholics, the divorced, and otherwise marginalized was noted, as well as a desire for a greater role for women. Participants see the Church as called to be a place of unity amid a divided secular culture. A desire for greater faith formation was also noted, especially an understanding of the relevance of Vatican Council II in the Church today.
The need for public lament of the sex abuse scandal was called for as well as breaking down barriers through more listening, small groups gatherings, hospitality, developing more engagement of the laity, and an increase in overall love and warmth. “We are called to be hopeful, active, loving, and forgiving members, modelled after Christ, our Lord and Savior.”
Since these sessions, responses were compiled by theme and a report was meticulously created according to the format provided by the Parish Life Office. This use of a format for listening and notetaking, as well as reporting to the Diocese, provides the Diocese with a consistent way to compile responses and send them to Rome for the gathering of Bishops later this year.
A warm thank you to all who participated in these listening sessions through their offering of time, prayer, and sharing. If anyone has questions or comments about this process, please feel free to contact Stephanie Pritts at email@example.com or St Malachi rectory at 216-861-5343.
An ongoing opportunity exists for individuals to offer feedback on the Diocese website.
To see more information about this process, please visit https://www.dioceseofcleveland.org/synod/overview.