ARCHDIOCESE OF ATLANTA
2022 SYNOD REPORT SUMMARY
- At the close of the survey, there were a total of 7,150 responses, 65% from women.
- 11,000 attendees in 333 listening sessions in 108 locations.
- Over 50% of respondents identified as white/Caucasian, over 30% as Hispanic.
- Most of the respondents were born between the 1940s and 1980s.
Themes for Discernment:
- One common theme among the respondents is the desire to be more connected to the Church, especially after the church closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- As a Church, we should be able to provide healing to those who have been hurt, offended, and pushed away, and that we would be able to break the ethnic, cultural, language and racial barriers that separate us and form lasting bonds of love as brothers and sisters.
- Another common theme is the desire for welcoming hospitality, not necessarily for the respondents, but for those who come from marginalized communities; e.g. black, Hispanic, people with disabilities, sexual orientation.
- Regarding catechesis, some wanted more traditional teaching while others wanted more Catholic social teaching. There is also a desire to shift from merely religious instruction to spiritual formation.
- A common concern among the respondents was how to get people back to church, especially after the churches reopened post COVID-19. The intended groups are the divorced and remarried Catholics, abuse survivors and those who disagree with church teachings.
- The listening sessions encouraged the role of the laity in spreading the Gospel. Parishioners are co-responsible for sharing the Gospel.
Conclusion and Next Steps:
- Revival: The goal is to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Become a Eucharistic revival missionary in your parish by making a commitment to daily prayer and making it a priority to attend Sunday Masses and Holy Days of Obligation. Also, by attending Mass more frequently during the week, spending some time each week in adoration of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and going regularly to confession. You can also become someone’s prayer partner and share your testimony with others.
- Establish synodal structures in the archdiocese: For example, helping parish staff to connect with the deanery staff.
- Serving our multi-cultural diocese: The survey responses and the participation in the Eucharistic Congress held last June indicated that the local Church is thriving among those from Hispanic cultures.
- Emphasis on listening: Listening is essential to the Church’s mission of evangelization; it is also key to help determine what is appropriate for each person or group. It is only through listening and discernment that the community can determine what each person can and should do to strengthen the Church on the parish, diocesan and global level.