Rome to Host World Meeting of Parish Priests in Preparation for Synod on Synodality

On the last day of the gathering, May 2, the parish priests will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican and the meeting will end with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Statue of St. Peter in front of St. Peter's Basilica.
Statue of St. Peter in front of St. Peter's Basilica. (photo: Vatican Media)

The World Meeting of Parish Priests for the Synod on Synodality will be held April 29–May 2 in Sacrofano, Rome, and will reflect on the theme “How to Be a Synodal Local Church in Mission.”

With a view to the second and last session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will be held at the Vatican next October, the General Secretariat of the Synod has invited a number of parish priests to travel to Rome.

Bishop Luis Marín de San Martín, undersecretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod and coordinator of the initiative, explained that it is “a meeting of listening, prayer, and discernment promoted by the General Secretariat of the Synod and the Dicastery for the Clergy, together with the Dicastery for Evangelization and the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches.”

The meeting also responds “to the recommendations of the participants in the first session of the Synod of Synodality, held in October 2023, who suggested listening more to the voice of the parish priests.”

As Marín explained, the objective will be to “listen to and enhance the synodal experience that they are having in their respective parishes and dioceses” as well as “enable dialogue and the exchange of experiences and ideas.”

Another purpose of the meeting is to “provide materials that will be used in the drafting of the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the synod’s second session, together with the summaries of the consultation coordinated by the bishops’ conferences and the results of the theological-canonical study carried out by five working groups formed by the General Secretariat of the Synod.”

The number of participants was determined according to a criterion similar to that used for the election of members of the Synod Assembly by the bishops’ conferences (approximately 200). However, given the requests received from some bishops’ conferences, the number of participants will be greater than 200.

In selecting participants, bishops’ conferences and Eastern Catholic Churches were asked to take into account, as far as possible, those “who have significant experience with the perspective of a synodal Church” as well as “favor a certain variety of pastoral contexts of rural or urban origin or specific sociocultural contexts.”

On the last day of the gathering, May 2, the parish priests will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican and the meeting will end with a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Pope Francis (R) embraces new Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich after he appointed him during an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new cardinals on October 5, 2019 at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

Pope Francis vs. Cardinal Hollerich

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