It is recommended that you gather your parishioners or members of your community in person for a listening session. You may begin with a meal or a service project. Some less formal time spent together may help everyone to feel more comfortable with and trusting of one another when the time for prayer and listening begins. Below are some resources to help you with your in-person listening process.
Gathering Event Template and Prayer Resources– A compilation of prayer resources for your in-person Synod listening session that includes general prayer services, prayer services for gatherings during Advent, Eucharistic Exposition, preparation for the season of Lent and more.
Conversation and Listening Guidelines– A resource for your in-person gathering that facilitates deeper reflection and discussion on each of the ten themes proposed by the Synod.
Process for Facilitation Synodal Consultations from Leadership Roundtable– This excellent resource shared through the USCCB and Leadership Roundtable* outlines the art of facilitating a synodal listening gathering. It is concise in detailing information such as:
- Choosing facilitators
- Facilitating skills and hints
- Examples of Ground Rules for discussions
- How to facilitate potentially difficult Synodal conversations: responding to a person with an agenda, with no filters, or who is an abuse survivor
- Offering a sample template for a listening session or synodal consultation
- Reporting the fruits of the session/consultation after the event
*Leadership Roundtable has become a partner to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Vatican for this synodal journey to share our resources, leadership, and expertise to help dioceses and parishes engage in a synodal process.
Sample Synod Survey for Distribution—copies of the Synod survey can be printed and included in the parish bulletin, mailed to parishioners, or made available somewhere in church. Once completed by parishioners, the survey can be returned either to the parish by mail or collection basket, or returned directly to the Diocese of Scranton. The paper copy of the survey is available in the following formats:
- Synod Survey in English–PDF
- Synod Survey in English–Word
- Synod Survey in Spanish–PDF
- Synod Survey in Spanish–Word
- Synodal Survey in English with Frequently Asked Questions and Mailing Address to the Diocese–PDF (courtesy of St. André Bessette Parish, Wilkes-Barre)
- Synod Survey with more room for commentary–PDF (courtesy of Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace Parish, Hawley)
Suggested Tools for Reflecting, Sharing and Responding to Questions of the Synod (USCCB)– Some tools for reflecting, sharing, and responding to the questions of the Synod. Some of these tools are particularly suitable for children, youth, and people who prefer approaches that are simple and easy to relate to.