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Sunday, 16 April 2017 11:33

First of prayer and listening sessions held in diocesan cities

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and diocesan Pastoral Council chair Mike Christie presided at the first prayer and listening session from their location in Charleston.  Others gathered in Alton, Quincy, Jacksonville, Decatur and Chatham participated via Skype.

synod listening session effingham deaneryCHARLESTON — Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and diocesan Pastoral Council chair Mike Christie presided at the first prayer and listening session from their location in Charleston. Others gathered in Alton, Quincy, Jacksonville, Decatur and Chatham participated via Skype.

Marlene Mulford, director of the diocesan Office for Communications, gave an overview and brief summary of some of the early responses gleened from the more than 150 synod surveys that have been submitted so far. Surveys are being accepted through May 2 and can be accessed online at https://form.jotform.com/70187027724961.

Participants at each site engaged in extensive table discussion on the questions posed in the synodal questionnaire. At the conclusion of the afternoon, each deanery reported its work to the whole.

synod listening session charleston mike christie bishopSister Rene Simonelic, OSF, of Sacred Heart Parish in Effingham delivered the results of her deanery’s discussions. A brief snippet of her remarks included: “Our small group decided to begin the discussion of the synod questionnaire with the last question ... so beginning with Q.8, there was much discussion around the issue of relationship. Christian life is not only about ‘my’ relationship with Jesus separated from my public relationship with Jesus. It is always about living in sync with the Gospel. We have a mission — to be witnesses of the truth we have experienced. If we are truly ‘transformed’ then it will be noticeable. It is our personal relationship that nourishes our public image. It was the consensus of the group that our relationship with Jesus Christ is both private and public, two sides of the same coin. Jesus is always the same, it is we who keep changing as our relationship with him continues to grow.”

Bishop Paprocki officially opened the fourth diocesan synod at the Chrism Mass on April 11 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.