Dear Saint Anne Parishioner,
This Lent, Pope Francis is calling the entire Church to engage in preparing for a highly important, worldwide Synod, or meeting, that will take place in Rome in 2023. The word Synod comes from two Greek words which mean ‘together’ and ‘on the road.’ In church and in society we are side by side, on the same road, walking together. We journey together as the People of God with the entire human family.
In preparing for this Synod, Pope Francis wants to hear the voices of the entire Church – including each one of us. We too need to hear from each of you, to understand how you experience our journeying together at Saint Anne, and to learn what steps the Holy Spirit invites us to take to grow in communion with one another. Toward that end, we are going to take some time in small group listening sessions to pray together, to listen to each other, and to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to and through us.
I am inviting each of you to find time this Lent to participate in a listening session. Whether you’re strong in your faith or hanging on by a thread, whether you’re a lifelong Catholic or a recent arrival, I really want you to participate. Our hope is that this process will be transformative: that it will awaken us to the meaning and the call of our baptism, to what it means to be part of a living, learning, listening Church where everyone’s voice is important.
All parishioners are welcome and encouraged to participate in one of the Parish Listening Sessions.
- On-line registration is available –click here
- Complete the registration information and select the session of your choice.
Sessions will be held in the Parish Center Gym. Family members who arrive together will be encouraged to sit at different tables. To make it possible for young families with children to participate, childcare will be offered to those who request it when registering. At registration, the parish will collect a bit of demographic information, but no names will be retained from the sessions so that all may feel comfortable voicing their thoughts. Additional times may be added as needed.
Later in the process there will be opportunity provided through an online portal to hear from those who are unable to be with us in person.
For those who do not have access to a computer or prefer to handwrite responses, you may request a paper copy by calling 847.620.3068. Please leave your name and phone number so that we may call you for mailing information. Email requests to StAnneFaithFormation@stannebarrington.org
At the conclusion of our in-person sessions and on-line listening, a summary report reflecting all that was conveyed by Saint Anne parishioners will be submitted to the Archdiocese of Chicago, which will take similar steps to prepare a diocesan report that will be sent to the Vatican prior to the meeting of the bishops in October of 2023.
Each of us knows someone who has drifted away from the Church, for whatever reason. It’s critically important that their voices be heard, too. Please consider reaching out to such a person—a friend, family member, or colleague—and inviting them to participate. Invite them, bring them along with you, provide them with the information.
We all look for things to do during Lent, let this be one of your Lenten practices this year.
This is an exciting time in our Church, and I encourage you to participate in these listening sessions. By sharing your perspectives and suggestions, you will help the Church become the listening, learning Church it is called to be. In addition, your involvement will help our Saint Anne family grow in communion and be more fruitful in mission as we journey together in living the gospel.
In Christ’s peace,
Father Bernie Pietrzak