The Listening Church

1. What is a Synod? What is the purpose? 

  • “A Synod is a formal representative assembly designed to help a bishop in his shepherding of the local Church.” (*)  

  • The purpose is “to discern and establish clear pastoral priorities in a way that will both promote greater unity and lead us to a more vigorous proclamation of Jesus’ good news.”

2. What is a Listening Church? 

  • The pre-Synod process has been designed to engage in a ”sincere and respectful ‘mutual listening’ in which everyone has something to learn.”  

  • “Moreover, it is not just listening to one another but to the Holy Spirit, the ‘Spirit of Truth’ (Jn 14:17), to know what the Spirit is ‘saying to the Churches’ (Rev. 2:7).”

3. How will the Synod work? What is the process?

  • The Archdiocesan Synod Assembly will be held Pentecost weekend, May 2021. 

  • The pre-Synod process will occur over the next two years, and will engage the People of God - laity, clergy, consecrated men and women, and bishops - all walking together.

4. What is a Prayer and Listening Event?  

  • Participants will gather together to pray, discuss, and give feedback on what is working well now in their parish and this Archdiocese, and what are the challenges and opportunities as we move forward together. 

  • Everyone is invited to attend an event. All participants are encouraged to give written feedback that will be read and considered. 

  • Archbishop Bernard Hebda is scheduled to attend all events to pray and to participate in the listening process.

5. How can I participate in the Synod?  

  • Please pray for the Synod and our Archdiocese!  

    • Pray the pre-Synod year prayer and the monthly prayer intention. 

    • Offer a monthly holy hour or a Rosary. 

    • Pray with the Synod prayer journal.  

  • Year 1 (2019-2020): Attend one of the 20 Prayer and Listening Events and give your feedback.  

  • Year 2 (Fall 2020): Join a parish small group.


(*) Quotes from Archbishop Hebda’s June 6 column in The Catholic Spirit. Find the full column at Year 1 (2019-2020):




Year 1 (2019 - 2020) Prayer and Listening Events 

  • 20 events throughout the Archdiocese that are open to all. Choose one that works for your schedule; invite others! 

  • 11 additional events for focus groups such as youth, elderly, priests, religious, and Catholic school principals. 

  • Purpose: To identify an initial set of focus areas to discuss during Year 2.

Year 2 (2020-2021): 

  • Parish Consultation Process: Fall 2020

Small groups meet in parishes across the Archdiocese to pray, study, and discuss the focus areas arising during Year 1. Parishes provide feedback which will inform the Synod topics to be discussed in the Deanery Consultation Process. 

  • Deanery Consultation Process: January and February, 2021

Pastors and an estimated 10 parish representatives gather at the Deanery (regional) level to pray, study and discuss the proposed Synod topics. Deaneries provide feedback for the Archdiocesan Synod Assembly. 


  • Archdiocesan Synod Assembly: Pentecost weekend, May 2021

Approximately 500 invited delegates (including two from each parish) from across the Archdiocese gather together to pray, study, and discuss the Synod topics and vote on pastoral priorities to recommend to Archbishop Hebda. 

  • Pastoral Letter: November 2021, Feast of Christ the King

Considering the Synod results, Archbishop Hebda writes a pastoral letter intended to lead to an Archdiocesan pastoral plan to move our Archdiocese into the future.


Parish Ambassador Team Several parishioners have volunteered to serve as Parish Ambassador Team members. They will answer your questions and share ways to participate in and pray for the Synod.


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Archbishop Bernard Hebda wants to hear from you!


You know what’s working and what needs work in your parish and this Archdiocese.

This is your opportunity to help shape the future of our local Church.


There are 20 Prayer and Listening Events located throughout the Archdiocese.

Archbishop Hebda plans to attend all 20 events.

Choose one that works for your schedule. All are welcome!

Join us to pray, discuss and give feedback on what is working well now,

and what are our challenges and opportunities as we move forward together!


Tuesday, Sept. 24, 6-9 p.m. St. Victoria, Victoria 

Saturday, Sept. 28, 9 a.m.-noon St. Michael, St. Michael


Friday, Oct. 11, 6-9 p.m. Guardian Angels, Oakdale 

Saturday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m.-noon Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Paul Bilingual (English and Spanish) 

Saturday, Oct. 26, 9 a.m.-noon St. Peter, Forest Lake 

Tuesday, Oct. 29, 6-9 p.m. Divine Mercy, Faribault


Thursday, Nov. 7, 6-9 p.m. St. Wenceslaus, New Prague 

Friday, Nov. 15, 6-9 p.m. All Saints, Lakeville 

Sunday, Nov. 17, 1-4 p.m. St. Anne-St. Joseph Hien, Minneapolis Bilingual (English and Vietnamese)


Sunday, Jan. 5, 1-4 p.m. Holy Cross, Minneapolis ASL Interpreted 

Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m.-noon St. Peter Claver, St. Paul 

Tuesday, Jan. 28, 6-9 p.m. Pax Christi, Eden Prairie


Saturday, Feb. 1, 9 a.m.-noon St. Stephen, Minneapolis Bilingual (English and Spanish) 

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 6-9 p.m. Providence Academy, Plymouth 

Saturday, Feb. 15, 9 a.m.-noon Lumen Christi, St. Paul 

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 6-9 p.m. St. Stephen, Anoka 

Thursday, Feb. 27, 6-9 p.m. Our Lady of Grace, Edina 

Saturday, Feb. 29, 9 a.m.-noon St. Pius V, Cannon Falls


Saturday, March 7, 9 a.m.-noon Transfiguration, Oakdale 

Saturday, March 14, 9 a.m.-noon St. Alphonsus, Brooklyn Center Bilingual (English and Spanish)

The Synod Process


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