Synod consultations in local Roman Catholic parishes

Local Roman Catholic parishes are hosting a series of consultations during the month of April inviting people to share their experiences in the church.

Participants will be invited to take part in a discernment exercise, involving what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell them for the future.

A series of meetings is planned for the French-speaking parishes of the region. They are: Saint-Grégoire in Vankleek Hill; St. Peter the Apostle in Hawkesbury; Saint-Jean-Baptiste de L’Orignal; St. Eugene; Sainte-Anne-de-Prescott; Saint-Joachim of Chute-à-Blondeau; and Saint Bernardine.

The meetings were organized following the announcement by Pope Francis of a synod inviting the participation of all baptized Catholics. The Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall offered training sessions to help parishes organize meetings.

Father Pierre Domerson, parish priest of the Sun Pastoral Unit, and Father Éric Robichaud, parish priest of St-Pierre-Apôtre in Hawkesbury, encourage the Catholic faithful to participate actively in the Synod.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to take an enthusiastic look at the pastoral plan for the years to come,” said Father Domerson.

“I hope that this synod will give everyone the opportunity to express themselves freely in relation to their experience of life in the Church and of their journey in the Church”, declared Father Robichaud.

According to Father Domerson, the process is not so much a question of changing doctrine, but of seeing if things could be done differently.

At the end of the discussions, a report will be prepared for each parish and a summary will be sent to the Archdiocese.

No meetings are held specifically at St. Gregory Parish in Vankleek Hill. Parishioners are asked to contact the parish or attend a meeting at another location.

In Saint-Eugène, the meeting will take place after the 9:30 a.m. mass on Sunday, April 10. The meeting for the parish of Saint-Joachim in Chute-à-Blondeau will also take place on Sunday, April 10, after the 11 a.m. mass. Sainte-Anne-de-Prescott will have its meeting on Saturday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Center d’Action.

Two of the meetings will take place on Sunday, April 24. For the St-Bernardin parish, they will take place after the 9:30 a.m. mass at the community center. At the parish of Saint-Pierre-Apôtre in Hawkesbury, the appointment is at 1 p.m. in the basement of the church. The last meeting for St-Jean-Baptiste Parish in L’Orignal is at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 1, at 1:00 p.m., at the gymnasium of the St-Jean-Baptiste Catholic Elementary School.

St. Jude’s, the Anglophone parish of Hawkesbury, does not hold a meeting as part of its synod consultation process. However, a member of the parish was appointed synod facilitator. Parishioners who wish to share their thoughts on the parish, archdiocese or large church can contact the facilitator through the parish office.

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