January 21, 2022

Synodal meeting with Archbishop Thompson set for March 5 in Columbus

By Sean Gallagher

Catholics across central and southern Indiana will have the chance on March 5 to gather with Archbishop Charles C. Thompson at St. Bartholomew Parish, 1306 27th St., in Columbus, for a meeting that is part of a synodal process launched last October in the archdiocese and in dioceses around the world.

The process is part of the preparation for a 2023 meeting of the world Synod of Bishops at the Vatican that will discuss the concept of synodality, which is a word to describe how all the faithful are called to contribute to the guiding of the life of the Church through prayerful listening and sharing their own thoughts.

Archdiocesan Catholics have had the chance since last fall to fill out an online survey and share their thoughts with members of their parish councils.

All of this input and more will be prayerfully considered by a group of archdiocesan leaders in creating a 10-page draft report, which will be made available to those who take part in the March 5 meeting in Columbus. It will begin at 3 p.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. just before St. Bartholomew’s 5 p.m. Saturday evening Mass.

Ken Ogorek, archdiocesan director of catechesis, has coordinated the synodal process in the archdiocese.

He said the March 5 meeting will involve prayer, small-group discussions of different sections of the draft report and opportunities for individuals to share their thoughts with Archbishop Thompson and other participants.

“Prayer and listening will play major roles in the gathering,” Ogorek said. “I’m hopeful that participants will sense the Holy Spirit’s presence and power to help us speak the truth in love as we experience the togetherness that makes us Church.”

Those who wish to take part in the March 5 meeting are asked to register in advance by calling 317-236-1550 or by sending an e-mail to catechesis@archindy.org.

Input offered at the March 5 meeting will be considered afterward by archdiocesan leaders as they finalize the report, which will then be submitted to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

After gathering reports from dioceses across the country, USCCB leaders will then send a report on synodality to the Vatican.

During an Oct. 17, 2021, Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis that began the synodal process in the archdiocese, Archbishop Thompson described it as “a daunting task, but grace-filled, if we are Christ-centered. In the end, it’s all about glorifying the Holy Trinity—God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—for the sake of our salvation, not merely as individuals, but as people of God.”

Ogorek emphasized that Archbishop Thompson has been involved in the synodal process since its beginning.

“His prioritization of this gathering on March 5,” said Ogorek, “speaks volumes about our chief shepherd’s desire to listen and be present to the faithful of our archdiocese.”

(The online survey for the synodal process will be available through Jan. 31. It can be accessed in English and Spanish at www.archindy.org/SynodSurvey.)

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