Listening to the Faithful: Synod 2021-2023

… We recall that the purpose of the Synod, and therefore of this consultation, is not to produce documents, but to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to flourish, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another, and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands … (Pope Francis)

2023 Synod Resources & Information


You Can Now Register for VOTF Synod on Synodality Input Sessions for April & May

Voice of the Faithful has scheduled additional input sessions for the Synod on Synodality for April & May. The Synod is the most significant opportunity ever for the Church’s laity to influence the future of the Church. VOTF will be compiling a report comprising information from all of its Synod sessions and sending it directly to the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops in Rome via Region XVI. If you want more information on how voices expressed in parish or other Synod sessions will be heard, read this document, “How Do We Know that Our Words Will Be Heard at the Vatican.”

Anyone interested in attending a Set of sessions may note the following points and then register for one Set of two sessions using the links below:

  • Each Set will include two sessions.
  • Questions in session two follow those of session one in each Set.
  • You need register for only one set of sessions to ensure your input, as all sets address the same questions.
  • Sessions are restricted in size to ensure all can effectively share their experiences.
  • Registration for each Set will be closed when Set is full.
  • Please feel free to invite friends, neighbors, adult children, and others.

VOTF’s previous sessions ended with Set 9, so these sessions start with Set 10. Set 10 and Set 11 differ from those VOTF usually offers because they are being held on consecutive days instead of on consecutive weeks. This is to avoid holding the second sessions in each of these Sets during Holy Week.

Please note that the final “Submit” button when registering links to the “Synod Overview” document needed to prepare for the questions asked during the sessions. Registration for each Set will be closed when Set is full.

Set 10: Click here to register  Completed

Set 11: Click here to register Completed

Set 12: Click here to register Completed

Set 13: Click here to register Completed

Set 14: Click here to register Completed

Set 15: Click here to register Completed

Set 17: Click here to register

  • Session 1 — Tues., May 10, 6 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. CDT, 4 p.m. MDT, 3 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Tues., May 17, 6 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. CDT, 4 p.m. MDT, 3 p.m. PDT

Set 18: Click here to register

  • Session 1 — Thurs., May 12, 11 a. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Thurs., May 19, 11 a. EDT, 10 a.m. CDT, 9 a.m. MDT, 8 a.m. PDT

Set 19: Click here to register Closed

  • Session 1 — Fri., May 13, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Fri., May 20, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT

Set 20: Click here to register

  • Session 1 — Sat., May 14, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Sat., May 21, 4 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. CDT, 2 p.m. MDT, 1 p.m. PDT

Set 21: Click here to register

  • Session 1 — Mon., May 16, Noon EDT, 11 a.m. CDT, 10 a.m. MDT, 9 a.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Mon., May 23, Noon EDT, 11 a.m. CDT, 10 a.m. MDT, 9 a.m. PDT

Set 22: Click here to register

  • Session 1 — Wed., May 18, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Wed., May 25, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT

Set 23: Click here to register

  • Session 1 — Tues, May 24, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT
  • Session 2 — Tues., May 31, 7:30 p.m. EDT, 6:30 p.m. CDT, 5:30 p.m. MDT, 4:30 p.m. PDT

Conversations on Synodality” webinar with Prof. Rafael Luciani and Prof. Kristin Colberg now available on VOTF Vimeo channel.


The Synod Is for Mutual Discernment

This is your opportunity to express your hopes, dreams, desires, and, yes, even your concerns for the future of the Catholic Church. We will listen intently to the Holy Spirit and engage in mutual discernment to seek a path forward for our Church. The Synod on Synodality, officially called “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission,” will provide all people of God with a chance to express how they see the Church becoming the synodal, pastoral, evangelical Church it should be.

VOTF emphasizes that all voices are to be heard for the Synod, even the voices of those who feel uncomfortable talking in a group about their experiences and hopes for the future of the Church. Anyone who would like additional information may email office@votf.org.

Also be aware that VOTF is available to assist parishes, lay groups, religious orgaizations and others in their synod sessions. Our format and session structure can be adapted for those purposes. Send an email to dbdoucette@votf.org if you would like more information.

VOTF video on what the Synod is and how to participate


VOTF Synod Announcements & Activities


2023 Synod Resources

  • Click here to go to the Vatican’s website on the Synod on Synodality
  • KEY DOCUMENTS: Vatican’s Preparatory Document for the 2023 Synod and the Vademecum for the Synod on Synodality, which is the official handbook for listening and discernment in local churches during the first phase of the 2023 Synod from October 2021 through April 2022 in dioceses and bishops’ conferences leading up to the Assembly of Bishops in Synod in October 2023
  • Timeline graphic showing the stages leading up to the October 2023 Synod bishops’ meeting
  • Comprehensive guide to conducing mini-synods to gather information and listen to views in advance of preparing input into the 2023 Synod process
  • Slide presentation on synodality and the 2021-2023 Synod process prepared by the Gereral Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops
  • Access via Boston College’s Student Voices Project 2022 for high school, college, and graduate students to talk about the Synod. Scroll all the way to the bottom for the initial survey link.
  • Definitions of papal documents, placing the Synod and its process among the most important documents a pope issues
  • The Synodus Episcoporum: For a synodal Church communion, participation and mission — XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
  • Voice of the Faithful’s inclusive document “Information Resources on Synods, Synodality and the 2023 Synod”
  • Leadership Roundtable’s For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission — Process for Facilitating Synodal Consultations
  • Links to all of the Vatican II documents (also see “How do we prepare for a synodal process? Start with the documents of Vatican II,” by Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter)
  • “The Church on the way: Prayer for a synodal Church” from the Vatican
  • Sign up for The Synodal Journey Newsletter by the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops
  • Synod Consultation Plans, map of U.S. archdioceses and dioceses from National Catholic Reporter that have synod consultation plans
  • RESULTADOS Asamblea Ecclesial, Forty-one pastoral challenges identified during the synodal process in Latin America and the Caribbean during summer and fall 2021
  • Flyer in English  & Spanish  containing Prayers for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops — “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission” (2021-2023). You may download, print and fold these flyers and use them wherever you feel you have a receptive audience.
  • Biblical Resources for Synodality, by Commission on Spirituality, Biblical Sub-Group, March 2022

Videos About Synodality

“Why participate in the Synod?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67AzH2ZlAac

Sr. Natalie Becquart (of the General Secretariat) on synodality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf4ixP21R6U

“A new way of being Church” by Prof. Rafael Luciani (one-hour lecture): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsMhhRKzzcI

“From Episcopal Collegiality to Ecclesial Synodality,” a lecture by Prof. Massimo Faggioli: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31KMA5kZVD0

“Webinar: For a Synodal Church,” by Discerning Deacons features Profs. Kristen Colberg, Rafael Luciani, and Hosffman Ospino–all specialists in ecclesiology and synodality–speaking about what Pope Francis is inviting us to do. 

“From the Margins to the Center” by Fr. Robert Choiniere for the New Ways ministry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6nk41o2-uk

VOTF video on what the Synod is and how to participate, presented by VOTF Executive Director Donna Doucette (videographer Vincent Rocchio)

Toward a Synodal Church: Co-Responsibility and the Lay Apostolate, presented by the Catholic Appostolate Center 


​2023 Synod Media Coverage