Input from local Catholics sought for Synod survey

Input from local Catholics sought for Synod survey


The Diocese of Camden’s Faith and Family Life Formation Office is currently organizing a series of conversations and pastoral discussions to be held at a number of local parishes throughout the diocese.

The gatherings are part of the worldwide preparation for the world Synod of Bishops to be held Oct. 4-25 at the Vatican.

The Synod will focus with the theme, “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World.” It follows the extraordinary synod on the family in October 2014, which Pope Francis said was designed to present an overview of the situation of families and the primary concerns for the church’s pastoral care of families.

At last year’s synod, bishops from throughout the world discussed how the church should shape its pastoral efforts to support marriage and family life in the modern world. Pope Francis has expressed his wish to receive further feedback from Catholics on the subject in preparation for the Oct. 4-25 Synod.

The Faith and Family Life Formation Office is offering questions for prayer and discussion to encourage conversations of the lived experiences and perspectives of the people of South Jersey, to provide the Diocese of Camden’s input for the response the U.S. bishops will send to Rome; and to allow diocesan leaders to listen to ideas that will strengthen support for marriage and family life.

Each week, the diocese will focus on a different theme, based on the recent synod’s document, and provide questions of the week.

Week of Feb. 22: Family Life (See sidebar below for the list of family life questions)

Week of March 1: Marriage and Parenting

Week of March 8: Families with Special Circumstances

Information on the hosting parishes for the listening sessions will be forthcoming.

For more information, contact Mary Lou Hughes at 856-583-6132, or, or Sister Kathy Burton, 856-583-6131, or


Questions for week of Feb. 22 concerning family life for discussion

This week, the Diocese of Camden is talking about the following questions concerning Family Life:

  1. Describe how your parish supports those families experiencing additional stresses/tensions resulting from various life situations?
  1. How does your parish and community draw near families in extreme situations, e.g. poverty, isolation, in crisis, unemployed, etc.
  1. Describe initiatives your parish has in place to support and strengthen the bonds of marriage. Is there anything more that could be done?
  1. How can we as a community of faith, counteract the negative influences of the various ‘isms’ so often found in society today? e.g. individualism, materialism
  1. “Love is our mission: The Family Fully Alive” is the theme for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Love, meant to be outward facing, is today often focused inward on itself.

How can your family be helped to focus this love toward the world?

  1. How does your family experience God?
  1. How can your parish help you experience God in a broader sense?
  2. What could your parish do to help your family grow in your experience of God?
  3. Is your experience of family life one of joy?
  4. How do you experience God’s grace in your family’s life?
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