Synod 2021-2023: For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission

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     Pope Francis has approved a new three-stage process for the next gathering of the Synod of Bishops; this process continues his efforts to reform the Catholic Church in accordance with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. His aim is to involve the whole church at diocesan, national and continental levels through a process of “listening and discernment” on the important theme of synodality: “For a synodal Church: communion, participation, and mission.”

     Pope Francis declared that the synod opened in the Vatican and in every diocese throughout the Catholic world in October 2021. It begins with a “diocesan phase” (October 2021 until April 2022) and then moves to a “continental phase” (September 2022 through March 2023) before concluding in “the universal church phase” at the Vatican with the synod of bishops in October 2023.

     The purpose of the diocesan phase is “to consult the people of God, so that the synodal process may be carried out by listening to all the baptized,” who, as the Second Vatican Council said, “cannot err in matters of belief.” Bishop Emeritus Nicholas DiMarzio appointed Very Rev. Joseph R. Gibino and Sr. Maryann Seaton Lopiccolo as the contact people for the Diocese. They will work with a committee appointed by Bishop DiMarzio, the Diocesan Pastoral Council, and representatives from each parish and their pastors for the diocesan consultation that will also serve as the link with the regional bishops’ conference. The USCCB has appointed Richard Coll, Executive Director for Justice, Peace, and Integral Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as the contact person to work with the dioceses and with the general secretariat in Rome.

     Bishop DiMarzio formally began the consultation process here in the Diocese of Brooklyn on October 9, 2021, at a special Eucharistic celebration at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral. After Bishop DiMarzio retired, and the Diocese of Brooklyn welcomed its Eighth Bishop, Bishop Robert Brennan has taken lead in our diocesan face of the synodal process.

Over the past few months, Bishop Brennan has traveled throughout the diocese, meeting with priests and parishioners who have taken part in the first phase of our diocesan Synod process. We have now completed the second phase of our diocesan Synod, our online Synod Survey.

Please pray for this important work and for the success of the Synod.


The first phase of the data collection process is complete and your feedback is being submitted to the USCCB so that it can be consolidated with other dioceses across the United States. We’ll continue to keep you informed as the process continues.

Fr. Gibino and Sr. Maryann on the Synod:

Synod Roadmap:

Synod Preparatory Document: