Bishop thanks diocese for participating in Synod report
It is with gratitude and anticipation that I relate to you that the Diocese of Buffalo Synod team has finished phase I of our project with the completion of listening sessions and submission of our report to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. A special thank you to Carrie Frank and Deacon Don Weigel for their thoughtful, comprehensive, and diligent work to summarize the feedback from 35 listening sessions held over seven weeks that involved 650 laity and 130 priests, deacons and women religious.
Phase two of the local Synod effort will involve listening sessions in our families of parishes that will begin soon and discuss results from the Catholic Leadership Institute’s Disciple Makers Index Survey.
The report, and related documents, is available here.
As you will remember this church-wide Synod is an opportunity for us to journey together. Our sessions were both general in nature as well as gatherings that were structured to hear distinct voices within our local Church. Those distinct groups included women, those committed to social justice, the LGBTQ+ community, the African American, African and Hispanic communities, traditional Latin Mass Catholics, youth, young adults, refugees, person with disabilities, divorced Catholics, survivors of abuse, Church ministers, women religious, and priests and deacons.
We have called our effort “Listening in Love and Hope” because we aspired to reach out as broadly as possible to listen to the many voices within the Church, especially the marginalized, the disenfranchised, our less fortunate among us and our youth. The feedback was candid and honest, and it is our hope and desire to implement many of the suggestions from the sessions if agreed upon into the continuing restructuring and pastoral planning of our diocese here in Western New York.
I encourage you to spend some time reviewing these findings and work with us to continue our ongoing Synodality as we pursue a true renewal in our faith.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Michael W. Fisher
Bishop of Buffalo