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Parishes preparing for small-group dialogues

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SMALL GROUPS: Parishes will host a new round of small-group sessions in October as part of the synodal process. (Credit: Leonardo Enrique Fonseca)

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SAN DIEGO — Parishes are spending the summer months preparing for a new round of small-group dialogues they will be hosting in October as part of the synodal process.

The sessions will focus on how parishes can become Eucharistic communities, whose members more fully understand that the Eucharist is “the real and loving presence of the Lord,” as Pope Francis recently said.

In coming weeks, parishioners will be invited to attend the dialogues, to be held in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, as they were in the spring of 2022.

The synod is a four-year, worldwide initiative launched by the Vatican in 2021. The aim was to encourage the Church at all levels to invite community members to participate in key discussions, listen to their concerns, and then work together to solve the challenges before them, guided by the Holy Spirit. The goal is to reenergize and renew the Church.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church in the United States launched the National Eucharistic Revival, which is inviting all faithful to rediscover that the Eucharist “is the source and summit of our faith.”

Since the revival calls on parishes to hold activities highlighting the Eucharist this year, Cardinal Robert W. McElroy will use elements of that campaign for the synodal process.

Many participants in the initial round of sessions said they greatly enjoyed the opportunity to meet fellow parishioners and to hear their concerns and hopes for the Church.

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