Dear Family of the Archdiocese of New York,

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has presented all Catholics around the world with a wonderful opportunity: to examine how the Church is living up to the ideals established for us by Jesus, and how She can more effectively live out Her mission in the world today.

To accomplish this, the Holy Father has asked dioceses, religious communities, Catholic institutions and groups – really everyone! — to come together for prayer, listening, discussion, and discernment, what Pope Francis terms synodality.  After receiving responses from all who participate, the Holy See will convene bishops from around the world who will meet in Rome with the Holy Father to further discern what steps the Church needs to take in order to more fully carry out its sacred mission.  The Pope has made it clear that this is not meant to discuss what the Church teaches or believes, as that is unchangeable; it is meant to discuss how the Church teaches its truths, and lives out its beliefs.

Here in the Archdiocese of New York, it is time for us to do our part!  We are arranging “listening sessions” in each of the 12 deaneries (geographic areas) of the archdiocese for the various Saturdays of Lent, beginning Saturday, March 12, at Saint Joseph’s in Middletown (Orange County Deanery) and Corpus Christi in Manhattan (North Manhattan Deanery).  A full list of the other currently scheduled listening sessions is included below, and you can register for a session and find updated information here. (Note: The South Westchester Deanery will meet on a Tuesday, April 5.  See the schedule.)

Here’s what will happen: the listening session will last about three hours, and begin with everyone joining in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, asking the Holy Spirit to guide the discussions.  The assembled members of the deanery will then break down into smaller groups for discussion, guided by a facilitator, with everyone given a chance to have their voice heard and noted.   The responses from each of the small groups will be collected,  then combined and synthesized with others from the deanery, and then with responses from throughout the entire archdiocese, before eventually being shared with the bishops’ conference and then the Vatican. (Don’t worry – no names will be attached to any of this, so you can speak freely!)

Allow me to add my own invitation to our Holy Father’s by asking you to take part in this important “examination of conscience” for the Church Universal. Please register today!

Two quick reminders, if I may.

On Tuesday, March 1st, Bishop-elect John Bonnici and Bishop-elect Joseph Espaillat will be ordained as bishops at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.  Would you please remember them in your prayers?  And Wednesday, March 2nd, is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and a day of fast and abstinence.  I join with our Holy Father in asking that we pray in a special way on this day for peace in Ukraine.

With gratitude and prayerful best wishes, I am,

Faithfully in Christ,

+ Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York

Listening Session Schedule
(All sessions Saturday unless noted)

March 12:
Saint Joseph’s Parish, Middletown (Orange County) 9:00 a.m.
Corpus Christi Parish, Manhattan (North Manhattan) 9:00 a.m.

March 19: 
Saint Augustine Parish, New City (Rockland County) 10:00 a.m.

March 26: 
Saint Patrick Parish, Yorktown Heights (North Westchester) 9:30 a.m.
Saint Columba Parish, Hopewell Junction (Putnam/Dutchess) 9:30 a.m.
St. Joseph’s Parish Center, Kingston (Ulster) 10:00 a.m.

April 2: 
Our Lady of Pity Parish, Staten Island (Staten Island) 9:00 a.m.
Saint Joseph’s Seminary/Spellman Recreation Center, Yonkers (West Bronx)  9:00 a.m.

Tuesday, April 5: 
Resurrection Parish, Rye (South Westchester) 5:15 p.m.

Still to be scheduled:

South Manhattan Deanery

Sullivan Deanery

East Bronx Deanery

Check this page for updates!