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Media Type: Slides

FutureChurch Summary and Review of the Final North American Synod Document

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) issued the North American Final Document for the Continental Stage of the 2021-2024 Synod: For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission on April 12th. Along with the contributions of the six other Continental Assemblies, this document, will form the basis of the Instrumentum Laboris to be released by the General Secretariat of the Synod in June 2023 which will guide the Synod Assembly in Rome in October 2023/2024.

FutureChurch co-director, Deborah Rose, shares information about how the document came together, synthesizes and reviews the important points in the document, and discusses what’s next in the synod process.

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Synod Continental Discernment Session

Participants came together in prayer, to listen, dialogue, and discern if the Continental Phase Document authentically reflects our concerns, hopes, and priorities for the future of the Church.

Read the letter we submitted to the North American Synthesis Writing team based on your input.

Session One: Toward a Missionary Synodal Church

FutureChurch hosts the first of two sessions dedicated to discerning the contents of the Synod Continental Phase Document, Enlarge the Space of your Tent. After song, scripture, and prayer, FutureChurch co-director, Deborah Rose offers a summary of the context of the document and the contents of section three, “Towards a missionary synodal church.”

“All Are Welcome” by Marty Haugen. Copyright 1994 by GIA Publications Inc. Music displayed and streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-737115.

Additional Resources:

  • Continental Phase Document Read More. (It would be very helpful to read Section III as completely as possible)
  • Highlights and notes from Section I, II, and III of the Continental Phase Document (Deb Rose’s slides) Read more
  • Summary of FutureChurch Synods Sessions – What Our Participants Said. Read more
  • In Our Own Words Full Synod Report Read more
  • Prayers used for this session Read more
  • FutureChurch Questionnaire (now closed)

Session Two:

FutureChurch hosts the second of two sessions dedicated to discerning the contents of the Synod Continental Phase Document, Enlarge the Space of your Tent. After song, scripture, and prayer, FutureChurch co-director, Deborah Rose offers a summary of the responses provided last week’s participants and invites participants to discern the three questions asked of the Synthesis drafting team:

  • Which intuitions resonate most strongly with the lived experiences and realities of the Church in your continent?  Which experiences are new or illuminating to you?
  • What substantial tensions or divergences emerge as particularly important in your continent’s perspective?  Consequently, what are the questions or issues that should be addressed and considered in the net steps of the process? 
  • Looking at what emerges from the previous two questions, what are the priorities, recurring themes and calls to action that can be shared with other local Churches around the world and discussed during the First Session of the Synodal Assembly in October 2023?

“Sing a New Church” by Delores Dufner, OSB, © 1991, The Sisters of St. Benedict. Published by OCP. All rights reserved. Music: J. Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music, Part II, 1813. Music displayed and streamed with permission under OneLicense #A-737115.

Additional Resources:

  • Continental Phase Document Read More.
  • Overview of participant responses to week one (Deb’s slides) Read more
  • FutureChurch Questionnaire (Now Closed)
  • Opening Scripture and Prayer Read More.


Respect Women: A Catholic Plan for Justice with Emily Reimer-Barry, Ph.D.

Emily Reimer-Barry, Ph.D. presents FutureChurch’s first Respect Women Lecture. In her presentation, Dr. Barry addresses obstacles to women’s full participation in the leadership and decision-making of the Church and the justice consequences of such exclusion. She also presents an action plan for structural change and the full inclusion of women.

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Dr. Emily Reimer-Barry is an associate professor and the chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. She teaches courses in Catholic theological ethics, including sexual ethics, feminist ethics, war and peace, and ethical responses to HIV and AIDS. Reimer-Barry’s research explores the intersection of sexuality and social justice. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (B.A. 2000), Weston Jesuit School of Theology (M.T.S., 2002), and Loyola University Chicago (Ph.D., 2008).

Dark Money in the U.S. Catholic Church


National Catholic Reporter’s Brian Fraga joins FutureCurch to speak on the web of “dark money” flowing from conservative and right wing sources to Catholic organizations in the United States. Several of these same donors have also funneled money to far-right groups that the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have described as white nationalist organizations. Some of those recipients worked to spread false information about election fraud and were involved in planning demonstrations that preceded the Jan. 6, 2021, assault at the United States Capitol.

Brian Fraga is a staff reporter at National Catholic Reporter. He covers news pertaining to the Catholic Church in the United States. He was previously a contributing editor at Our Sunday Visitor and has written for a variety of Catholic publications over the last decade. Brian was also a reporter for daily newspapers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Mexico.

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Women Erased: Recovering Women’s Leadership in the Early Church

Professor Shaily Patel joins FutureChurch for this “Women Erased” series presentation. After sharing her thoughts on the ethical considerations that historians must take into account, Professor Patel offers 3 case studies for models of female leadership in the early Church.

Shaily Patel is assistant professor of early christianity in the Department of Religion and Culture at Virginia Tech. She earned her PhD from The University of North Carolina in 2017 and holds master’s degrees from Vanderbilt Divinity School and The University of Chicago. Dr. Patel’s research and teaching is dedicated to complicating easy assertions about the past, and about past Christians in particular. She teaches courses in New Testament, Christian apocryphal texts, orthodoxy and heresy, and demonology and exorcism. In each of her courses, she emphasizes the variety of early Christian groups and their respective beliefs. She locates early Christians within their cultural contexts, demonstrating how these multiple Christianities converge with or diverge from their Graeco-Roman origins.

Download the PowerPoint for this presentation.

View the opening prayer.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Resource

Our Lady of Guadalupe calls those with political and ecclesiastical power to leave their palaces, move to the periphery and standd with the poor and the marginalized. Like Jesus, her presence and those of her followers are signs of God’s healing and justice. In this packet you will learn about the history of Mary from the early Church to the twentieth century and discover the empowering traditions of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

This resource download includes:

  • Mary Through History — An easy-to-read examination of Marian thought and art from the Early Church through Today
  • Outline and Discussion Questions to host your own four-session series on Mary of Nazareth
  • Articles examining the history, tradition, art, and symbolism of Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Slide Presentation on Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Prayer Service Celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • Ideas for celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe in your community