By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
A pair of decorated cakes added a celebratory spirit, but for those in attendance, a workman-like demeanor fueled discussions Oct. 21 at a Diocese of Dallas synodal listening session at Cristo Rey Dallas College Preparatory School. The gathering marked the final of 30 listening sessions over nearly two-and-a-half years, planned as part of the preparatory phase of the Diocese of Dallas Synod.
“These sessions have been rich in so many ways,” Bishop Edward J. Burns said. “The volume of information that we have gathered from the faithful of this diocese during these sessions has been absolutely impressive.”
As a part of the preparatory phase of the Diocese of Dallas synod, the series of listening sessions and those who participated in them have served a vital role in helping shape next steps in determining the future of the diocese, the bishop said.
“We know that if we are going to do what is right, we are going to need your assistance,” said Bishop Burns to those in attendance at the final synodal listening session. “We rely on the faithful of this diocese to get a sense of direction and a way to navigate the good work of the Church.”
Questions for the Oct. 21 synodal session centered on “Resource Management, Project Planning, and Growing the Church.”
“This is a topic that is so very important as we move forward,” Bishop Burns said. “This topic is going to be the rubber that hits the road. It’s going to be vital to the implementation – the way we do it, how we do it, and making sure that we do it right.
“God has entrusted to us a wonderful, precious gift – it’s called the Diocese of Dallas,” said Bishop Burns, adding, “For us, to do this right, is our gift back to God.”
Synod Preparatory Commission Chair Lacy de la Garza said it was fitting that the final session focused on such a topic.
“Everything that we’ve discussed throughout all these different sessions builds up to this. Everything being considered is in response to known needs of the diocese that have been discussed and gathered at the listening sessions,” said de la Garza, who has chaired the 26-member preparatory commission since 2021. “It all leads up to helping us determining what will be best to help us – as a diocese – to grow closer to God.”
While the synodal listening sessions may have come to a close, work has not.
Read more in the Nov. 3 print edition of The Texas Catholic.