SCRANTON – Pope Francis wants to hear your thoughts and dreams about the Catholic Church.

The Holy Father is inviting Catholics who are already involved in church life – as well as those who may be on the margins or who have left the church – to voice their ideas and concerns about issues that are important to the Catholic Church today.

The pope is calling for the church to practice “synodality,” that is listening to – and hearing – one another in all facets of church life.

The process launches Oct. 17 in dioceses worldwide. On Oct. 10, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica to officially open the 2023 Synod of Bishops preparatory phase.

The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, is inviting the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton to join him in an Opening Mass for the Synod of Bishops on Oct. 17 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton.

The Diocesan Mass on Oct. 17 will begin a local listening process in the Diocese of Scranton that will take place over the next six months.

“Through a process of careful listening, our participation in the synod process will enable us to better understand how the Christian community participates in the life of our Church in the Diocese of Scranton today and how that shared participation among our members might grow in the future,” Bishop

Bambera wrote in a letter to the faithful earlier this month.

The Diocese of Scranton is still in the process of developing a broad consultation process that will utilize parishes, schools and other diocesan structures. While some of the listening opportunities will be conducted in-person, there will also be an online opportunity to reach all members of the community in the Diocese of Scranton.

Through this process, Pope Francis is calling all Catholics to look more deeply into how we are all “journeying together” as a church and where the Holy Spirit is calling us.

“The calling of this synod is well-aligned with the challenge Pope Francis offered his brother bishops to ‘dialogue fearlessly,’” according to a document provided to local dioceses by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Holy Father has made a request of the people of God to participate as fully and authentically as possible in the synodal process.”

More details on how individuals in the Diocese of Scranton can participate and make their voice heard will be released in the coming weeks.

The Catholic Light will continue to provide coverage of the opportunities that are available to the faithful.