Delegates from the United States and Canada discern the action of the Holy Spirit, the joy of the Gospel, those people whose voices are missing, and steps to take to become a more synodal Church.
By Sr Bernadette M. Reis, fsp – Vatican News Journalist & Special Envoy from Synod’s General Secretariat
The 17 delegates representing the United States and Canada began their work toward composing the North American continental response for the Synod on Synodality. Discernment groups met on the morning of the first full day of the meeting, focusing on five questions taken from the Working Document for the Continental Stage.
Four discernment groups discussed the first three questions and then reported back to the entire Assembly. A major voice that resonated in the first group discernment is a constant resonating throughout the Synod process. So many people who participated in various stages of the local, national, and continental stages of the synod, express delight at being included in the process and given the opportunity of sharing their faith experience. Another insight focused on the benefit of the methodology of the spiritual conversation in the listening sessions. “Enlarge the space of your tent” also entered into the discernment group discussions.
At mid-morning, groups broke out once again to tackle the next two questions.
“Another beautiful small discernment group,” Sr Leticia Salazar, Chancellor of the Diocese of San Bernardino, said as she returned from the second discernment session.
An attempt to name the various groups of people whose voices are missing provided not only a list. Delegates also expressed the need in the Church to know how to reach out to various groups in different ways in order to invite their active participation. Formation at all levels emerged as an underlying theme regarding the steps the Holy Spirit may be indicating for a more synodal Church.
During the afternoon, delegates discerned the main themes they had already identified that emerged during the Continental Virtual Assemblies. Once again, four discernment groups considered how to organize these themes. A main concern that emerged during the group discussion was that of remaining faithful to the input of all the people who participated in the Virtual Continental Assemblies.
The day ended with the celebration of the liturgy for the Memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius.