BRIDGEPORT—Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will commission Ambassadors of the diocesan renewal and delegates who will participate in the upcoming Global Synod on Synodality in two separate ceremonies on Saturday October 16.
Watch the Commissioning of the Ambassadors: here.
“These are two very important moments in the life of the diocese as we continue the work of renewal,” the bishop said. “I a very grateful to all of the men and women who have stepped forward to deepen their own spirituality while giving of their time and talent to revitalize the Church and help to lead us forward during a time of challenge and change.”
Global Synod on Synodality
The bishop will lead an orientation session and commissioning ceremony for synod delegates on Saturday, October 16, from 9-11 am at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, located at 35 Norfield Road in Weston.
The bishop has asked each parish and quasi-parish in the Diocese of Bridgeport to choose four delegates to participate in the diocesan portion of the Global Synod on Synodality announced by Pope Francis in March of this year.
“As you are aware, Pope Francis has mandated that every diocese in the world participate in the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that will conclude in Rome in October 2023. The topic to be explored is the synodal nature of the Church and its impact upon our ecclesial life,” said Bishop Caggiano.
The concept of “synodality” has been a topic of frequent discussion by Pope Francis, particularly during the previous ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment in October 2018.
In an August 23 letter to pastors and administrators, Bishop Caggiano said the purpose of the diocesan participation in the process will be to solicit feedback regarding a number of questions that will be identified in the preparatory document of the synod, to be released in the fall of this year.
Each local process will conclude in April 2022 with the creation of a diocesan report that will be sent to both the USCCB and the Roman Synod Office.
“The choice of delegates will be for the pastor, administrator or priest moderator to make. They should be persons involved in the life of the parish and reflecting its diversity. Each delegate will be asked to participate in a parish-level discussion of the issues to be presented, along with the participation of the local clergy and parish staff, leading to a written summary of the parish’s feedback to be submitted to my office,” the bishop said.
One of the four delegates will be delegated the task of drafting the parish’s report, based on a template that will be provided to by the start of the new year.
The bishop also announced that Deacon Stephen Hodson has agreed to serve as diocesan delegate to the synod office. He will be responsible to keep all clergy and parish delegates informed of the process, coordinate all parish reports and draft the final diocesan report.
“I am deeply grateful for Deacon Hodson’s willingness to serve in this most important position,” the bishop said.
Commissioning of Ambassadors
The Mass and commission ceremony for diocesan ambassadors participating in the diocesan renewal will be held on Saturday October 16, 12 noon at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport.
“We’ve been looking forward to this moment after many months of prayer and preparation,” said Bishop Caggiano. “The Mass will be a true celebration of their commitment and commission them to begin their work in parishes throughout the diocese.”
The Mass will celebrate the commitment of almost 200 people from 25 different parishes who responded to the bishop’s call and have completed the Ambassador training program to prepare them go out into the world and welcome all back to the Church.
The men and women of all ages participating in the Ambassador formation initiative were recommended by their pastors and drawn from parishes throughout the diocese. The formation initiative was created to equip parishioners with the knowledge and tools to confidently talk to others about their faith and encourage those that may be disenfranchised with the Catholic Church to reengage with its teachings and spiritual guidance.
In Masses held last spring in Bridgeport and in New Fairfield, the bishop said “developing a spirit of perseverance and endurance alongside the desire to witness Christ in a wounded world are the qualities needed to welcome people back to the Church.”
The bishop said he looks forward to the day when every Catholic home in the diocese will be visited by Ambassadors who will affirm the faithful and welcome people back to the Church.
(For further information on the Ambassador initiative, visit: www.bridgeportdiocese.org/call-to-renewal.)