A Summary of the Process

What is the Synod on Synodality?

What’s a Synod?

Traditionally, synods have been a gathering of bishops from around the world to reflect on key issues or questions for the Church during a single event. Its purpose is to collectively pause and reflect on the issues that impact the Church faithfully living as the presence of Christ in the world.   

The Synod on Synodality is totally different! Pope Francis has challenged the Church to gather ALL the voices of the People of God, and especially to make sure to invite people who don’t always feel welcome or appreciated. And not only bishops will be attending the gathering in October. Lay women and men and religious will attend as well! But the real challenge for the Church is to become synodal. So, this is not just a one-time event, but to become an ongoing journey of making this attentive listening and sharing part of the very nature of the Church, to become our way of being together.

People answered the following questions:

  • How is this journeying together happening in your parish?
  • What steps does the Holy Spirit prompt us to take to get better at journeying together?
  • What happiness have you experienced in the Church?
  • What difficulties and challenges have you experienced?
  • What insights do you have from these experiences?
  • What ways do you think the Church needs to change or evolve?

Below are links to two reports that synthesize the answers heard from people. The first is specifically focused on the experiences of disability, life, and the Church in the Archdiocese of Newark and the second is the general report for the archdiocese. If you didn’t get a chance to participate in any of the listening sessions, you can share your thoughts and experiences in the survey link below.

Look At the Synodality Logo Closely! 

Notice that the wheelchair user is propelling themself to journey with the other travelers on the synodal path. The logo was edited this way for the Synodality Christmas card in 2021 after listening to the voices of persons with disabilities! It’s significant because it demonstrates listening to the experiences of persons with disabilities and responding with compassion and concern. Persons with disabilities are capable of learning, developing, and contributing. However, they are often marginalized in life and the Church when not appreciated or appropriately supported.

The Church, Life, and Disability: What is Your Experience? Survey

Missed Synodality Listening Sessions? You can still share your experiences and ideas!

The survey will remain open to gather more voices in this anonymous survey on the experiences and opinions of all individuals, especially those with disabilities as an opportunity to make the Church more supportive and responsive to change.


Anne Masters, PhD, FAAIDD


Follow the Pastoral Ministry with Persons with Disabilities