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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: January 19, 2022
In September 2021, Pope Francis invited Catholics worldwide to take part in the Synod on Synodality, a two-year process of discussion and reflection in preparation for a meeting of the Synod of Bishops to take place in October 2023. This process includes a diocesan phase followed by a national phase, regional phase and concludes with the meeting in Rome.
The Catholic Diocese of Little Rock, which encompasses the entire state of Arkansas, kicked off this process in October using the theme: "Journeying Together: Communion, Participation and Mission." Our shepherd, Bishop Anthony B. Taylor, appointed Sister Mickey Espinoza, MCP, director of the Hispanic Ministry Office, and Liz Tingquist, director of the Catholic Campus Ministry and Catholic Youth Ministry offices, to lead the process in our diocese.
"The focus of the synod is to listen to the people of God," said Tingquist explaining the purpose of the process. "So often the Church is the teacher. With these listening sessions, the Church desires to learn."
Sister Mickey added: "The listening sessions are our opportunity to tell the Church what is in our hearts, and together be open to the Spirit and where this leads our parish communities and universal Church in the future."
To do this, every diocese has been asked to hold listening sessions with a special focus on people who are marginalized in the Church and community. In our diocese, these listening sessions are being held in parishes statewide. All listening sessions should be completed by March 1.
Each parish has appointed a synod team to train volunteers to lead these sessions, and the diocese has provided training materials as well as a script to guide each listening session. Sister Mickey and Liz Tingquist are also available to assist with training and answering questions that parish teams may have. Email questions in Spanish to Sister Mickey at email@example.com. Email questions in English to Liz Tingquist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following resources are available to help parish synod teams with this process:
Vatican Official Handbook
Vatican Preparatory Document
Script for Training the Facilitators
Consultation Script for Listening Sessions
Listening Session Handout for Participants
Once the listening sessions are completed, each parish team should submit their Parish Synodal Report to the diocese summarizing their parish's responses. Parishes may complete this report online, or download it in Word or PDF format and return it by mail, email or fax. If submitting online, click on this link to complete it at the bottom of this page.
Submit Parish Synodal Report Online
Mail Parish Synodal Report
After all the parish reports have been received, the diocese will review and compile them into one diocesan report that will be sent to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB will then send a report to the Vatican for the synod's general assembly in October 2023.