In his May 19, 2013 decree convoking the Archdiocesan Synod, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki stated a synod “is an assembly of members of Christ’s faithful in a diocese which, for the good of the whole diocesan community, assists the diocesan bishop in his care for the community by proposing direction and priorities.”

He continued that “a synod not only manifests and actualizes ecclesial communion in a diocese, it also

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builds up and fosters that same unity. The work of the synod is to promote acceptance of the church’s saving teaching and to encourage the faithful in their following of Christ.”

Quoting a 1992 letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith regarding diocesan synods, repeated in a 1997 instruction about diocesan synods written by the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Archbishop Listecki said “since the church is ‘sent into the world to proclaim and bear witness to that communion by which it is constituted, as well as to actualize it and to spread it,’ a synod can serve as a means of evangelization. Preparation for and celebration of a synod can help the community of the ‘faithful reflect on and celebrate their Catholic identity and the true meaning of what it is to be church.’”