Pope Francis holding one hand to his ear to demonstrate listening

The Church wants your feedback

Bishop Rice has asked each parish to host a consultation, a process of listening to the hopes and dreams of our parishioners. St. Joseph will host our consultation after each Mass on the weekend of March 26th and 27th.

Volunteers needed

The consultation involves individuals dividing into small groups, so we will need several small group facilitators for each time slot. The facilitator needs to be someone with good listening skills and encourage people to share what is on their minds.

We will also need several record keepers who can document participants’ responses.

If you could please help, contact Don Emge at 417-496-5522 ordonemge@stjosephspmo.org.

Outline of activities

  1. Opening Song: “All Are Welcome” (or another appropriate hymn).
  2. Word of God: Choose from suggested readings: Acts 2:1-11, 14-19; Acts 10:1-38; or Matt 15:21-28. 3.
  3. Quiet reflection time: experience the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Prayer to the Holy Spirit: Every session of the Second Vatican Council began with the prayer Adsumus Sancte Spiritus. The first word of the original Latin meaning, “We stand before You, Holy Spirit,” has been historically used at Councils, Synods, and other Church gatherings for hundreds of years and is attributed to Saint Isidore of Seville (c. 560 -4 April 636). As we are called to embrace this synodal path of the Synod 2021-2023, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to operate within us so that we may be a community and a people of grace. For the Synod 2021-2023, we propose to use this simplified version:
    We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather in Your name. With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it. We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions. Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right. All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen.
  5. A short introductory video from Bishop Edward Rice.
  6. Explanation of Purpose, Roles, and Process: This synodal journey is a special time of prayer, listening, dialogue, and recommendations. This is your opportunity to respond to the request from Pope Francis and from Bishop Rice to dream about the Church we are called to be. By gathering as a people of faith, we hope to weave new and deeper relationships, learn from one another, build bridges, enlighten minds, warm hearts, and restore strength for our common mission. By the end of our time together, we aim to capture your answers to the basic question: What is the Holy Spirit saying to our Church today? Explanation of the roles (introduce those helping to facilitate the consultation session).
  7. Focus the Consultation with Questions: The main facilitator explains that the guiding theme of the discussions is a synodal Church, a Church that “journeys together.” We will specifically be focus-ing on how the Catholic Church and our own par-ish journeys together in “growing in holiness, form-ing intentional disciples, and being sent forth to witness.” Participants should share their meaning-ful experiences (not opinions on each other’s expe-riences) of the local Catholic “journeying together” in ministry.
  8. Table Discussions: Participants should be assigned to diverse small groups of approximately five to eight members using a random method. Each group should have an assigned table facilitator and record keeper who are also invited to enter the discussion. If possible, the group should be seated at a table together for the small group facilitated conversation. The table facilitator introduces the questions one by one and invites each person to respond to each question. The facilitator proposes the recalling of experiences method as a helpful way to guide the discussion. An hour should be dedicated to this process.

Love and peace, Fr. Karl