The next phase of the Archdiocesan Synod is here with the implementation of ASIC (Archdiocesan Synod Implementation Commission). This is an important moment in the progress of addressing the issues raised by the synod.

The most significant action taken by the archdiocese in the last five years was the 2014 Synod, which gathered us together and articulated a vision that will affect us for the next 10 to 15 years.

The eight areas of pastoral priorities were certainly areas that affect the everyday functioning of our church:

1) Liturgy
2) Cultural diversity
3) Evangelization
4) Formation
5) Catholic Social Teaching
6) Marriage and family
7) Stewardship
8) Leadership.

When I arrived as the Archbishop of Milwaukee, the press was anxious to hear of my vision for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. I explained the vision was already established as the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ who set before

ASIC members named

Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki has appointed the following people to serve as members of the Archdiocesan Synod Implementation Commission (ASIC):

Dominick Albano, Arise, young adult ministry and pastoral associate, St. Monica Parish, Whitefish Bay/St. Eugene Parish, Fox Point
Dominican Sr. Andrea Andrzejewska of the Immaculate Conception Province, administrator St. Ann Rest Home, Milwaukee
Jeanne Bitkers, Archdiocesan Pastoral Council vice chairperson, principal Shepherd of the Hills School, Eden and member, St. Dominic Parish, Sheboygan
Fr. Phillip Bogacki, pastor, Christ King Parish, Wauwatosa
Gabriela Cabrera, director of religious education, St. Patrick Parish, Racine; served on Synod Preparatory Commission
Brenda Cline, parish director, St. Joseph Parish, Grafton
Fr. Jeffrey Haines, Archdiocesan Priest Council and rector, Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee; served on Synod Preparatory Commission
Sue Healey, member, St. Peter Parish, East Troy
Peggy Hughes, director of music and liturgy, Lumen Christi Parish, Mequon; served on Synod Preparatory Commission
Deacon Mark Jansen, Deacon Senate, member of Holy Angels Parish, West Bend.
Tonya Johnson, director of administrative services All Saints Parish, Milwaukee
School Sister of Notre Dame Marianne Kempa, coordinator of ministry services at School Sisters of Notre Dame
Jesuit Fr. Thomas Lawler, Provincial of the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus
Margie Mandli, member, St. Anne Parish, Pleasant Prairie; served on Synod Preparatory Commission
Cindi Petre, director of high school youth ministry at St. Anthony on the Lake Parish, Pewaukee
Randy Richard, member, St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Beaver Dam
Mary Tretow, principal, St. Mary Visitation School, Elm Grove

In addition to those members, the commission includes Archbishop Listecki; Barbara Anne Cusack, archdiocesan chancellor; Randy Nohl, director of Synod Implementation; and Rich Harter, director of the John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization, as ex-officio members.

all believers a mission to go out and preach, teach and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

However, I did have three objectives to articulate:
Catholic Identity (who we are);
Evangelization (what we do);
and Stewardship (how we do it).

It is interesting to note the pastoral priorities fit well into the three objectives I wished to establish.
It might be easy to name a priority, but it is quite a different matter to further the implementation and integration of the area into pastoral life.

On Dec. 18, I will officially constitute ASIC. The commission will be charged with the oversight and implementation of the Archdiocesan Synod priorities. It will assist us in finding the ways to challenge everyone to grow in the pastoral areas for consideration.

The commission members were chosen for their ability to represent various aspects of the archdiocese and their fidelity to the work of the synod. (See list of appointees at right.)

The delegates of the synod selected initiatives for each of the pastoral priorities. They will devise ways for those initiatives to be integrated into the faith life of individuals, parishes, schools and Catholic institutions. This is no easy task.

Our parishes are already overburdened, our schools and institutions filled with various responsibilities, and individuals are always trying to carve free time into their busy schedules.

How do we further the pastoral priorities without adding to the demanding schedule experienced by so many in this hectic society?

The process of the Archdiocesan Synod has various phases. The first phase was preparation, the writing of the pastoral letter, “Who Do You Say That I Am?” and the consultation with 15,000 individuals and representatives of the parishes at the district meetings, which led to the establishment of the priorities and initiatives. The creation of white papers (insights offered) into the understanding of the areas of concern followed.

The second phase was the synod itself, which called upon delegates and observers from the larger community to share their insights. It was here the energy of the Archdiocesan Synod demonstrated a love for the church and a confidence in the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us as we moved into the future.

I also experienced a sense of the community’s confidence that whatever we as a church would decide, the Holy Spirit would assist us in its fulfillment. The final Mass was a celebration of the New Pentecost, in the form of the synod, which ignited, renewed and energized the local church.

The third phase was the compilation of the synod initiatives, which gathered the notes and suggestions of the synod delegates and organized the initiatives voted by the delegates.

During this period, after reviewing all the initiatives, I had a theological insight. I divided them into three general suggestions: Catechesis (knowing more about the teachings of the church), Formation (integrating the knowledge into one’s life) and Praxis (how to put it into practice).

The work of the Archdiocesan Synod mirrored an answer to an old question posed by the catechism. Why did God make you? He made me to know him, to love him and to serve him so that I might be happy with him in heaven. Catechesis to know him, Formation to serve him and Praxis to serve him, the synod delegates called us to fulfill God’s plan for us by using the initiatives they selected. This phase ended in the official acceptance of the synodal plan and offered an outline for its implementation.

The fourth phase is the current implementation. ASIC will take the first few months and dedicate its time to envisioning how the priorities and the initiatives will be addressed in a manner faithful to the suggestions of the delegates.

It will establish a timeline and seek individuals who manifest an expertise in the areas of pastoral consideration necessary to assist in the implementation of the initiatives. This phase will demand from the members of ASIC a plan to keep the energy of the Archdiocesan Synod alive in the minds of the faithful while placing their creative efforts into the initiatives.

The fifth phase is the participation in the implementation of the synod. Each area of pastoral concern will be addressed in the plan offered by ASIC. The commission will monitor the participation and assess the effectiveness of the suggestions. Our goals are to increase our knowledge of the faith, deepen our personal relationship with Christ and his church and become ministers of evangelization.

I know that the work of the Archdiocesan Synod will make us a stronger church and assist us to grow in holiness.