Christ, Us, Our Communities, Our Neighbourhoods
A Diocesan Synodal Process for 2018–2019
The Archdiocese of Gatineau has set out on a 15-month synodal process, starting in October 2018. A synod is a time of walking together, listening to one another, and prayerfully discerning a way forward. The purpose of this process is to set out an action plan that will guide us for the coming years. The synodal process will take place in three phases, between October 2018 and December 2019, using the process of “see, judge, act”. To act appropriately, we first need to make good judgements. To make good judgements, we need to make sure that we see clearly what is before us. Our synodal process follows these three phases:
- Autumn 2018 – a time to “see”, through an on-line questionnaire, focus groups with specific groups, and facilitated discussions in each parish. This will lead to a report that describes our current situation and identifies issues and questions.
- Spring 2019 - a time to “judge”, to reflect together on these issues and questions, and to develop possible options for the future. This will lead to the publication of a document in June 2019 which outlines issues and options
- Autumn 2019 – a time to “act”, diocesan meetings will be held to discuss options for action. By Christmas 2019, we will publish the final document that will determine the priorities and actions required both at parish and diocesan levels.
Find out more in the pastoral letter of Archbishop Paul-André Durocher, Christ, Us, Our Communities, Our Neighbourhoods A Diocesan Synodal Process for 2018–2019 .
In early December, a team from the diocese travelled throughout the diocese to meet delegates from each of the pastoral zones. During these meetings, we reviewed the parish reports to get an accurate picture of strengths and weaknesses of the parishes in each zone. We identified questions which we need to address together in this diocese. Participants were asked to share their ideas of what the next phase of the synodal process should look like. Please find below the reports of each of the pastoral zones of the diocese. These will be incorporated into an interim report which will be published in January 2019.
Thanks to the collaboration of the generous people in the Archdiocese of Gatineau, nearly all of the parishes participated actively in this phase of the synodal process. Focus groups were held with targeted populations such as youth, young families, people in long-term care facilities, new immigrants, members of church movements, and those belonging to religious communities. Priests, pastoral associates and secretaries were consulted to see how the diocesan team can better help them in their mission.
The participants at the June 2018 diocesan meet-up identified what they would like to see in the diocesan synodal process. Among other things, they expressed the desire to listen to people who have taken their distance from the Church or who do not participate regularly in our parishes. To do this, the diocesan team prepared an online questionnaire. The link to this questionnaire was widely circulated among parishioners, who were invited to share it with the people around them. The questionnaire remained on line between October 11 and November 30, in both French and English. Nearly a thousand people completed the questionnaire: 797 in French and 144 in English. You will find the results of the English questionnaire here.
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