“I will seek input from all. I will listen to all. I will discern with you all.” – Bishop Christopher Coyne
Convening the Synod
In the spring of 2017, Bishop Christopher Coyne announced plans to convene the first Diocesan Synod in Vermont since 1962. Its purpose is to establish a pastoral plan for the immediate future of the Catholic Church in Vermont and to establish particular laws and policies to do so. This is at least a year-long project and is “a serious undertaking by the Church,” he said.
The bishop serves as the convener and presider of the synod, and membership contains both ex-officio members of the clergy and laity as well as representatives of religious communities, lay fraternities and at-large representation such as young people, parents and members of minority communities.
Before the sessions of the synod are convened, all of the members of the Catholic community are invited to participate in a preparation process in which they are invited to pray, listen, learn and discern what the future pastoral plan for spreading the “Good News” of the Church in Vermont should be. This is taking place on the parish level, the deanery (regional) level and the diocesan level. It includes personal meetings and digital means of communication.
After this work of preparation is completed, the bishop will convene the synod to meet in the necessary sessions to complete the work of discernment and planning and to then enact the policies, laws and directives to carry out that plan in the Vermont Church.
Parish Listening Sessions
Parishes across the state are held moderated listening sessions during which the faithful of Vermont responded to three questions:
- As the Catholic Church in Vermont, what are we doing well?
- What are we doing that we could be doing better?
- What are we not doing that we should be doing?
Parish Listening Session Invitation from Bishop Coyne
Parish Listening Session Introductory Videos
Regional Listening Sessions with Bishop Coyne
In addition to parish listening sessions, all were invited to regional listening sessions with Bishop Coyne as moderator.
Each pastor selected a delegate(s) from his parish to participate in the synod delegate meetings and official synod sessions. The first delegate meeting took place on Feb. 3 at the then Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Burlington. The second took place on May 5, at the then cathedral. The third delegate meeting took place on Sept. 8 at Immaculate Conception Church.
Diocesan Synod Resources
- Diocesan Synod Overview, March 2019
- Diocesan Synod Update, December 2018
- Bishop Letter on Upcoming Synod
- Synod to Begin
- Prayer for a Diocesan Synod
- Listening Session Survey
- Video Invitation to Parish Listening Session from Bishop Coyne
- Audio Invitation to Parish Listening Session from Bishop Coyne
- Text Invitation to Parish Listening Session from Bishop Coyne
- Listening Session Intro Video 1: Catholics Come Home, EPIC: 120
- Listening Session Intro Video 2: Bishop Coyne
- Synod Update, spring 2018
- Press Release 11.29.17
- Press Release 4.7.17