Dear Friends,

As Deacon John Hoffman noted in this space a few weeks ago, Archbishop Blair has announced his intention to convene a synod for the Archdiocese of Hartford, probably in the fall of 2020. A synod is a special and graced gathering of representatives from around the Archdiocese, clergy, religious and laity. The synod delegates meet to pray, discern, and discuss the future of the Archdiocese in terms of its priorities and direction. At the end of a synod, the delegates approve a series of recommendations to the Archbishop, who accepts them and then undertakes a process of implementing them.

All around the Archdiocese this summer, every parish is expected to hold a listening session which is open to all the parishioners. The session is not attended by any members of the clergy, be they priests or deacons, so that freedom of expression and openness of mind can be promoted. The results of the listening session are recorded as are the names of all who attend and sent to the synod office in Hartford.

Our parish listening session will take place on Wednesday, August 8, beginning at 7:00 PM in the hall at St. Agnes. The facilitator will be Tracy Casey, and I am grateful to her for her willingness to assist in this manner. I will be present at the beginning to welcome all who come and to lead the group in prayer, after which I will leave.

In preparation for the synod, the Archbishop has asked us to consider carefully the following three questions, again noting that the focus is on the Archdiocese as a whole and not the parish in particular: What is the Archdiocese of Hartford doing well? What is the Archdiocese of Hartford not doing well? What is the Archdiocese of Hartford not doing that it should be doing? Please consider these questions and plan to come to the synod listening session on August 8. Your ideas and input are valued by the Archbishop.

I am happy to announce that our parish has achieved its goal for the 2018 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, just surpassing the $110,000 mark. I am grateful to all who contributed to the appeal and encourage those who have not yet made a gift to do so. The Appeal remains open for gifts through December 31.

Finally, by way of an update, for reasons of his health and personal safety, Father Callahan has relocated permanently from the St. Agnes Rectory on Merwin Avenue to his sister’s house in Fairfield. His new address is: The Rev. Francis X. Callahan, 178 Hollydale Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. I am sure that cards and notes would be appreciated.