Save the Date! Sunday, May 22

Last October, Pope Francis convoked a synod of the world-wide church, a gathering of the faithful in order to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church and asking her to be and to do. He calls it “an exercise of mutual listening, conducted at all levels of the Church and involving the entire People of God”. It involves encounter, listening and the discernment of spirits.

Now it is time for us to participate: after mass on Sunday, May 22, Ss. Peter and Paul will host a synodal listening session for all those involved in the Jesuit ministries in Detroit.  We anticipate that most of the participants will be from our parish and Gesu Parish.

Please make plans to attend. The Pope wants to hear from YOU! He stresses “real involvement on the part of each and all” and “a way of acting marked by true participation…. Enabling everyone to participate is an essential ecclesial duty!”

See the registration information elsewhere in this newsletter. More preparatory information will be forthcoming. For now, you can get a good overview on this FAQs page, or browse around the entire synod website.  Below here are some inspiring and informative passages I selected from those synod documents.


Tuesday, May 24 – Jesuit Friends and Alumni Luncheon

Featuring Fr. Tim Kesicki, SJ, our former Midwest Jesuit Provincial, speaking about A New Path to Reconciliation: the Jesuits and Slaveholding. Come learn about the fascinating project he now leads, the Descendants Truth and Reconciliation Foundation, a new partnership between descendants of Jesuit slaveholding and the Society of Jesus in the United States, for the work of healing and reconciliation. Less than 20 seats remain of the 125 available. See registration information elsewhere in this newsletter.


Mother’s Day!

Finally, I pray for Mother’s Day blessings for all our mothers! The origins of this now-commercialized holiday are not widely known. While many countries have celebrations that go back centuries, the U.S. tradition grew out of two women peace activists in the civil war era who urged the creation of a “Mother’s Day For Peace” where mothers would ask that their husbands and sons would no longer be killed in wars, and call for mothers of all nationalities to band together to promote the “amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.”  How timely, given the tragic war in Ukraine, with its millions of women and children refugees.

On this day we take time to thank our mothers, whether living or deceased, for all the love and care and wisdom we have received from them, to pray for them, and to appreciate more deeply through them the nature of God’s love and care for us all.


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The word synod comes from the Greek synodos, which has the general meaning of “walking together.” It offers an image of the Church as a pilgrim people, growing and developing on a journey of faith; a very different image from that of the Church as a static institution.


In the past, a Synod consisted of a meeting of Bishops in Rome. This Synod consists of an entire synod process, beginning with the worldwide consultation of all faithful. Although recent previous synods began with wide consultations in the form of questionnaires, this is the first time that everyone has been directly asked to engage in an exercise of listening at the level of parishes and dioceses.


Ever since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has been teaching the Church about synodality and encouraging us to become a more synodal Church at every level. Synodality is a style, a culture, a way of thinking and being, that reflects the truth that the Church is led by the Holy Spirit who enables everyone to offer their own contribution to the Church’s life. But the Church in our day lacks the habit and practice of synodality.


Pope Francis has made it clear that the synod is not a parliament, a convention, or an opinion survey. Although it has many elements familiar to political and similar processes – listening, speaking, taking votes – what differentiates a Synod is that it is a spiritual process that takes place within the Church. “The Synod is an ecclesial event and its protagonist is the Holy Spirit.  If the Spirit is not present, there will be no Synod.”


We need to listen to the Spirit together with the whole People of God, so as to renew our faith and find new ways and languages to share the Gospel with our brothers and sisters. The ability to imagine a different future for the Church and her institutions, in keeping with the mission she has received, depends largely on the decision to initiate processes of listening, dialogue, and community discernment, in which each and every person can participate and contribute.


The synodal process that Pope Francis proposes to us has precisely this objective: to set out, together, in mutual listening, in sharing ideas and projects, to show the true face of the Church: a hospitable “house,” with open doors, inhabited by the Lord and animated by fraternal relationships.