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We Begin by Listening

November 5, 2021

Dear Companions on the Journey,

Last Sunday, I preached about the most important “two and one-half commandments.” I suggested that the first “half-commandment” derives from the Jewish prayer from Deuteronomy, “Hear, O Israel.” That is, we begin our day, our week, by listening, then we may have something to say.

In that spirit, then, some theologians assert that the most radical direction Pope Francis is taking is to address that commandment to the Church itself. So he has set in motion a process called “synodality.” In short, “synodality” recognizes that the Universal Cathoic Church has many experiences of being followers of Jesus. What may work in Kerala, India, may not be suitable to Manila; what American Catholics take for granted may be totally inappropriate in Central Africa. In order to pay attention to this cultural diversity, Pope Francis is setting the Church on a three-year journey, beginning with listening. Church leadership wants to hear your voice, your experience. With three questions — how can the local Church (in your case, the Paulist Center Community) listen better? How can the diocesan Church listen better? How can the Church universal listen better? This week we are beginning the process in Boston. Go here to learn more about “synodality” and go here to speak your truth by filling out the form for your voice.

There is more to come, but this is how we are beginning.

What do you think?

November is Black Catholic History Month. I will be sharing short stories of extraordinary American Black Catholics over the month of November. Learn about a truly great Afican American saint Thea Bowman.
The Sunday bulletin is online at the Paulist Center website. We hope that you will open it with these links to see more about what is happening now at the Paulist Center Community.

We conclude with the prophet Micah 6:8:
Our Faithful God has told you, O mortal, what is good;
   and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, to love kindness,
   and to walk humbly with your God?
And let us pray for/with one another.
Michael McGarry, C.S.P.
Director, the Paulist Center

Along with Patty, Chuck, Susan, Norm, John, Dorothy, Barbara, Rob, Alvaro, and Sal. Please feel free to call upon your Pastoral Ministers if you wish.