Diocesan family called to take part in a Synod on Synodality to move the diocese forward

A screen grab of a video during which Fr. John Jirak and Bishop Carl A. Kemme introduce the Synod on Synodality to the Diocese of Wichita. 


Bishop Carl A. Kemme and Father John Jirak talk about Pope Francis’ call for a Synod on Synodality in a video now available at YouTube.com/DioceseOfWichita.

Bishop Kemme says the pope is asking the church to be a better listener so the faithful can journey together. “A church that listens is what Pope Francis is really desiring for the church moving forward,” he says. “To be synodal in nature is that we journey together, we’re walking together, we’re listening together, we’re dialogging, we’re trying to figure out – with the Holy Spirit’s help – where we’re heading.”

Bishop Kemme says he wants everybody to have a voice to be able to speak about what’s on their heart about where God is leading them.

“We think you’ll enjoy the consultations,” he says. “We think you’ll benefit from hearing other people, brothers and sisters in the faith, and letting the Holy Spirit speak through us.”

Fr. Jirak said regional synodal gatherings and some individual parish gatherings will be held and that there will be many opportunities to continue that type of experience long after the synod. “There’ll be ample opportunity to really speak and to listen.”

Worldwide event

The Synod on Synodality will be conducted throughout the world over three years, he said. The first element of the process is listening and dialogue. The second part will be conducted through The Disciple Maker Index Survey from the Catholic Leadership Institute. The DMI will be open from April 1 to May 1.

Bishop Kemme said pastors are being asked to invite the people of their parishes to take part in a survey. The data will be sent to the institute which will compile a report for the bishop.

“It will give us information about where people are in terms of their faith, their participation in the life of a parish, their satisfaction – lots of good information,” Bishop Kemme said.

The results of this survey will help pastors, parishes, and the diocese determine what is needed to help the faithful grow spiritually and to be fully alive as missionary disciples.

Bishop Kemme said he hopes the Disciple Maker Index can be launched this month with regional and parish consultations taking place through early June and beyond.

A report will eventually be sent to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he said, which will collate the fruit of the listening sessions across the country and send them to the Holy See.