The archbishop has written his first pastoral letter, "Who Do You Say That I Am?" which was made available to pastors Feb. 6. It will be made available to the entire Catholic community in fall.What has been discussed since early 2012, and been in the planning stages since September of last year became official Pentecost Sunday, May 19, when Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki proclaimed from the cathedra and signed on the altar a decree convoking a synod for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to be held Pentecost weekend, June 7-8, 2014. The declaration was made during the 8 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.

Referencing Pope Benedict XVI’s Oct. 11, 2011 letter, “Door of Faith, in which the Holy Father called for a Year of Faith that began Oct 11, 2012 and which will conclude Nov. 24, and Pope Francis’ statement that “faith is born from listening, and is strengthened by proclamation,” the archbishop noted that he had issued his pastoral letter, “Who Do You Say That I Am?”, “to spark a period of diocesan-wide focus on the theology of the church.”

Archbishop Listecki said he had studied and reflected on the needs of the local church, “and having heard from the People of God of southeastern Wisconsin, we have determined that the time is ripe for setting forth a vision of the future and determining the priorities that will move us forward.”

Related articles

18-member commission will guide consultation process

Commission chair develops synod timeline

Synod is our moment in history – Herald of Hope by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki

What is a synod?

Noting that he had consulted with and received support for the synod from the Archdiocesan Council of Priests, Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, the College of Consultors and the Archdiocesan Finance Council, the archbishop said the Synod Preparatory Commission “will guide the process of reflection and consultation for the synod in conjunction with parish and district discussion of the pastoral letter, ‘Who Do You Say That I Am?’ Through this process, inspired by the Holy Spirit, the issues for deliberation at the synod will emerge and vision for the future become clearer.”

Archbishop Listecki said the synod would include representatives of clergy, laity and religious who will engage in prayerful dialogue, discernment and deliberation “in order to address the pastoral priorities that will move us forward.”

He added that “through preparation for, celebration of, and implementation after the synod, together we can ‘rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith’” – quoting Pope Benedict’s “Door of Faith.”

He concluded the 590-word decree by asking the faithful to pray that the Trinity “guide our preparations, to inspire our deliberations, and to bless our synod results.”