Throughout the Archdiocesan Synod preparation process and the synod itself, Randy Nohl regularly spoke about the “call to discipleship” and “mission.” With Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki’s Archdiocesan Synodal Declaration including those themes, Nohl will, as the newly appointed Director of Synod Implementation, continue to talk about discipleship and mission.
In a Friday, Sept. 12 interview with the Catholic Herald, Nohl explained that Peter’s response to Jesus’ question,
“Who do you say I am?” is made to Jesus privately, and then, at Pentecost, publicly.
“That sets the framework for what he (archbishop) is calling us to do,” he said. “As a church, as an archdiocese, we’re on a mission. Just as Jesus called disciples to grow in their faith and reach out to others and make new disciples, that’s really what I see the declaration doing. We’re now being called to continue our faith journey of being disciples and inviting other disciples.”
While Nohl will direct the implementation, he will do so in consultation with and help from the Archdiocesan Synod Implementation Commission (ASIC), the synod working group, pastoral priority teams and a parish engagement team.
The first thing that will occur, according to Nohl, is that the archbishop will name the implementation commission. It will meet and look at where it sees the archdiocese being in 10-15 years.
“Then we look at what‘s the three-year plan or three-year picture,” he said. “Then you go to, ‘Where are we a year from now?’”
Nohl noted that while liturgy will be the focus in the early part of the declaration’s implementation, the process does not take a “checklist” approach.
“It’s not that we work on liturgy, we’re done with liturgy, check,” he said. “Planning is starting to take place in other areas, but what is up front right now is liturgy.”
Nohl said that “nothing is on hold” in the implementation process.
“If we’re asking ASIC to look at the next three to five years, the group working on evangelization, for example, has to get started right away,” he said.
Nohl explained that if, in consultation with the archbishop, ASIC sets a one-year goal of having parishes focus on what it can do to help Catholics return to Mass, that would then be given to a pastoral priority team to develop.
Once they develop a plan, it is shared with the parish engagement team, which will focus on how to communicate the plan to parishes and to recommend the formation that will be needed to execute it.
The declaration has been made, a structure for its implementation exists on paper, and a process for its implementation is expected to evolve between now and January, but for Nohl, all of the elements are about one thing.
“This whole process is to carry out that mission and carry out the vision that the archbishop sets forth in the declaration,” he said.