Pope Francis at the Synod on Synodality on Oct. 6, 2023. / Credit: Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Feb 3, 2024 / 10:30 am (CNA).

The Vatican announced on Saturday that Synod on Synodality organizers are inviting 300 parish priests to come to Rome for a meeting of “listening, prayer, and discernment” that will help shape the next Synod assembly discussions.

The international meeting of priests will take place from April 28 to May 2 with the goal of “listening to and valuing the experience of parish priests”and providing them with “an opportunity to experience the dynamism of synodal work at a universal level.”

The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops said that the meeting is being organized in response to the first Synod assembly’s Synthesis Report, which identified a need to “develop ways for a more active involvement of deacons, priests and bishops in the synodal process during the coming year.” 

The participating priests were selected by their local bishops’ conference in the Latin Rite, as well as by the leadership of each Eastern Catholic church. The number of priests selected from each region was commensurate with the number of members in the bishops’ conference. 

The bishops were asked to give preference to parish priests with “significant experience in the perspective of a synodal Church,” while also selecting priests from “a variety of pastoral contexts.” 

The chosen priests will be announced by their local bishops’ conference by March 15.

During the five-day meeting, the priests will participate in round table discussions, liturgical celebrations, workshops on pastoral proposals, and “dialogue with experts,” according to the press release by the Synod organizers, at the Fraterna Domus retreat center in Sacrofano, near Rome.

The priests will also have the chance to speak with Pope Francis in an audience on May 2.

The meeting is being co-organized by the General Secretariat of the Synod and the Dicastery for the Clergy.  

The results of the priests’ meeting are expected to be taken into account by the drafters of the Instrumentum laboris, the working document for the second Synod assembly in October 2024.

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