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"We Are Listening." Bridgeport Diocesan Synod

Maryann Calabrese, CND

"This is a singular opportunity for us, as a diocese, to ask very deep, honest, and probing questions, so that we can transform the challenges we face into opportunities for growth and renewal. But perhaps most importantly, this is a graced time for you and me to accept the invitation of the Lord, in a very personal way, to grow in faith and holiness," said Bishop Frank Caggiano.

With that, Bishop Caggiano opened the second session of the Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport (CT) November 15th. The atmosphere among the participants is very congenial; each seems genuinely pleased to be part of this effort. Bishop Frank Caggiano (cf. 11/10 America magazine editorial) also shared that 5 bishops at the recent USCCB meeting approached him about the synod and want to know more; we are sowing seeds…

The bishop models collaboration. He sought our approval before issuing a public statement reflective of the topics we are discussing: Empower the Young Church, Build Up Communities of Faith, Foster Evangelical Outreach and Promote Works of Charity and Justice.

"This is an essential moment for the synod, for we need to distinguish between the challenges that are obvious from those that are far more fundamental and serve as the underlying cause to many of the difficulties we are experiencing in our daily lives of faith," the bishop said. Consultation and voting (moving toward consensus) on a total of sixty “challenges” identified by the study committees was a monumental task, but with the help of excellent presenters and technology, we made our way through.

What has been a challenge to me stems from our own Congregation Chapter Direction: work toward a more inclusive Church. The differences among the delegates (as we all experience them in the Church) is very evident; some on a profound level. How do I remain in the spirit of discernment which seeks to ‘hear’ all in a spirit of love and compassion? How am I simply present as a woman of Visitation called to believe in the wisdom and power of Pentecost?


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