Read the diocesan synod summary report

Report reveals themes to direct future planning for the Diocese 

Read or download the full report at:

After Pope Francis convoked Synod 2023:  “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” on Oct. 10, 2021, the Diocese of Saginaw got to work to fulfill the diocesan phase of the synod, following the recommendations of the Vatican and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  

From January to April 2022, trained parish coordinators from across the diocese planned and conducted listening sessions with Catholic faithful, clergy and those from communities both within and outside of the Catholic Church.

Each parish/group coordinator compiled a report of the listening sessions’ discussions, and then teams within the Diocesan Synodal Team further synthesized the reports by vicariate (geographic region) and/or area of responsibility.

Ten Key Themes

These reports were studied and discussed in detail as the Diocesan Synodal Report Drafting Team began to write. The team prayerfully drew out the following 10 key themes that surfaced during the listening sessions held throughout the diocese:

  • Merging and closure of parishes
  • Distrust of the diocese and global Church
  • Clergy sex abuse scandal locally and globally
  • Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the life of parish and parishioners
  • Youth and young adults missing from parishes
  • Priestly and religious vocations crisis
  • Need for evangelization
  • Welcoming and outreach
  • Desire for adult formation and deepening of Faith
  • Desire for liturgy that leads to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ

Those involved in the synod called upon the Holy Spirit to guide the process every step of the way, from listening sessions to the process of reading, synthesizing and writing the reports. Every voice was heard. The full Diocesan Synod Report was sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on June 30. Diocesan reports from all across the United States will be reviewed and synthesized into regional reports, and the process will continue through the continental and universal phases, culminating with the Synod of Bishops in October 2023. 

While the worldwide Synod of Bishops will seek to discern where the Lord is calling the universal Catholic Church, the Diocesan Synod Report will have a local impact much sooner. Bishop Robert Gruss has expressed a strong desire to address the needs discussed in the listening sessions which are actionable and within his authority. The synod report will also play an important role in future pastoral planning by Bishop Gruss and his advisors. The Diocese will continue to seek to understand God’s plan with the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we continue down the path the synod has set us upon. 

Read or download the full report at: