SAN DIEGO — “Brothers and sisters, our Church has invited us into conversation. When in our lifetimes has this happened?”
Katrina Albrandt poses that question in a video inviting Catholics to participate in the San Diego Diocese’s electronic survey, which is open through Oct. 31.
“Our Church has asked us what we believe and think — not just our leaders, but you and me. This is historic. Just as important, it is authentic.”
The survey is a key part of how the diocese is consulting the faithful in a process known as a synod. The worldwide synod was to conclude next year, but Pope Francis has extended it to 2024.
Saying he did not want to rush the process of discerning how the Holy Spirit is calling the Church to grow in “synodality,” the pope announced that the next assembly of the Synod of Bishops would take place in two sessions.
The synod assembly, with mostly bishops as voting members, will meet Oct. 4 to 29, 2023, as previously announced but the assembly will have a second session in October 2024 as well.
Albrandt, a member of The Immaculata Parish, serves on the diocese’s synod commission, mostly lay leaders from across the region advising Cardinal Robert W. McElroy in this initiative.
By mid-October, more than 25,000 faithful had taken the electronic survey, available since Sept. 6. The survey is completely anonymous and is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
In early November, a diocesan team that includes two university professors with expertise in survey design and analysis will begin to review the survey data. They will use that information, and input from the group sessions held at parishes and schools earlier this year, to develop proposals to respond to the concerns the faithful raised.
Cardinal McElroy has said he would like to see implementation of the proposals to begin in the first quarter of next year.
The diocese is making an extra effort to reach those no longer active in their faith, as well as those living on the margins of society, such as the homeless, the incarcerated and refugees.
“Your voice is needed to help our Church understand why you stay, why you have left, why you are hopeful, or why you are dismayed. Your voice matters here and now. But will you speak?” Albrandt says in the video.
“It’s not too late to join in this historic conversation — to let the Holy Spirit work through you as you say, ‘This is my Church!’”
Take the survey through the QR code on this page, the web pages sdcatholic.org/synod, Facebook at @DioceseSanDiego and Instagram @sdcatholics. Contact your parish to obtain the survey on paper. More information is available at sdcatholic.org/synod and sdcatholic.org/sinodo.