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Priests are meeting this week at the Fraternal Domus retreat house outside Rome (Vatican News)

Some 300 parish priests from around the world are gathering in Sacrofano, outside Rome, this week for a meeting dedicated to listening, prayer, and discernment to address the question of how to be a local synodal Church on mission. Source: Vatican News.

The five-day gathering will feature five days of discussions, culminating in an audience with Pope Francis on Thursday.

The meeting comes in response to the desire expressed by the Synod Fathers to “develop ways for a more active involvement of deacons, priests, and bishops in the synodal process”, following criticism that parish priests were notably absent from the General Assembly.

In his opening remarks to the assembled fathers, Cardinal Mario Grech, the Secretary General of the Synod, said, “You have not come here to receive some teaching or exposition about synodality,” but “to tell us your story, because the story of each and every one of you is important.”

“We want to hear your stories, we want to hear how Jesus is still working today,” the Cardinal explained, saying that the days in Sacrofano are about “the sharing of stories, helping one another see God’s presence in our own stories, understanding that his providence is still writing the story of the Church today.”

After the introductory speeches, the meeting of parish priests focused on the first day’s theme, “The face of the Synodal Church.” 

Over the coming days, the priests will continue their conversations, focusing on the topics of “All Disciples All Missionaries” and “Teaching Ties, Building Communities”.

The meeting will conclude on Thursday with a “meeting dialogue” with Pope Francis, followed by the celebration of Mass with the Holy Father in St Peter’s Basilica.


Parish priests meet to share experiences of synodality (By Christopher Wells, Vatican News)


Synod asks pastors to share stories, see how God is at work (OSV News)