Lay Advisory Board’s second meeting highlights synod, efforts at healing

| July 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

In this file photo, Archbishop Bernard Hebda talks with Susan Wieneke, left, a parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle in Corcoran, and Dale Lieb, a member of St. Mary of the Lake in White Bear Lake, at the first Lay Advisory Board meeting April 3 at the Archdiocesan Catholic Center in St. Paul. Both are members of the board, which consists of representatives from each deanery in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

Dale Lieb stepped away July 17 from his second Lay Advisory Board meeting with Archbishop Bernard Hebda determined to help spread the word about prayer and listening events set to begin this fall in preparation for the 2021 archdiocesan synod.

“We’re inviting everyone to attend these events,” Lieb said. “This whole thing is being guided by the Holy Spirit.”

Archbishop Hebda announced the synod last month and planning is well underway as the archbishop prepares over the next two years to hear suggestions from people about the pastoral needs of the local Church. The synod itself will gather delegates from all facets of the archdiocese to help the archbishop discern and shape pastoral priorities for the five to 10 years that follow.

To begin the process of discernment, 20 prayer-infused listening sessions will be held across the archdiocese between Sept. 24 and March 14. Eleven other sessions will be held for focus groups such as clergy and college students.

And the 19 members of the Lay Advisory Board, in their second quarterly meeting with the archbishop and other archdiocesan officials at the Catholic Center in St. Paul, were encouraged to help spread the word and urge people to participate.

Lieb and others on the board, for example, will discuss the initiative with parish representatives in their deaneries, or geographic regions in the archdiocese. They also will help with welcoming and hospitality as they participate in the prayer and listening sessions planned for their areas.

Alisha Coury, representative for Deanery Two on the Lay Advisory Board and a member of St. Rose of Lima in Roseville, said she is ready to share the good news of the prayer-infused listening sessions.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity the archbishop is setting up for priests to hear directly from their parishioners about the needs of the archdiocese, and how that will bubble up” through the deaneries and into the archdiocese as planning continues for the synod, said Coury, who also is a member of her parish council.

Lieb, who represents Deanery 1 and is president of the leadership council of his parish, St. Mary of the Lake in White Bear Lake, said he will discuss preparations for the synod at his council meetings, which include members of each of the parish’s ministries. Lieb said he will answer people’s questions, take in their suggestions, and encourage participation. Bulletin announcements and other avenues also will be used to spread the news, Lieb and Coury said.

Announced as an initiative last fall, the Lay Advisory Board meets quarterly with the archbishop. Board members are an important source of advice for the archbishop, and they share information about their deaneries with the archdiocese, and vice versa.

Other items discussed at the July 17 meeting included a continued need for healing in the archdiocese in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, and progress being made in ensuring safe environments for youth and others; and reports from board members about suggested priorities for the archdiocese, as well as initiatives that appear to work well.

The next board meeting will be Oct. 9 at the Catholic Center.


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