Synod 2021-2023

( en español )

Office of Bishop Header

July 6, 2022

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This year, the faithful of the Diocese of Arlington enthusiastically welcomed the call of Pope Francis to assist in the preparation for the 2023 General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops by engaging in local synodal gatherings over the last several months. People from all walks of life participated prayerfully, respectfully, and with charity in many synodal listening sessions, at which all were invited to share their thoughts on the Church's experience of journeying together in faithfulness to Our Lord. Many participants expressed sincere gratitude for the opportunity to reflect together on how the Church is accomplishing her mission, and encouraged continued opportunities to do so. During these sessions common themes emerged, highlighting the joys and hopes-as well as the difficulties and obstacles-we share as we strive to live the Gospel of Jesus.

I am happy to share with you a summary of those themes in a Diocesan Synodal Synthesis Report, the same report that I have submitted to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in preparation for the Synod in Rome next year. I trust you will find that the themes outlined in the report resonate with your experience of participating in a synodal listening session in particular, and of living the faith in our diocese in general. Providentially, the main themes that emerged from our Diocesan Synodal Phase confirmed the pastoral priorities identified in our diocesan Strategic Planning process that we began last year.

Both experiences of synodality showed the importance of continued prayerful listening, dialogue, and community discernment. I am grateful to all of you who participated so wonderfully in our Diocesan Synodal Phase, and I ask you please to pray for me and for our diocese that we may continue to journey together in unity and charity as the People of God in fidelity to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sincerely in Christ,

Bishop Burbidge Hi-Res Signature

Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Arlington


Arlington Synodal Synthesis Report - English (PDF)

Arlington Synodal Synthesis Report - Spanish (PDF)

2023 Synod

Pope Francis has invited the Catholic Church throughout the world to participate in preparations for the next Synod of Bishops in Rome, in October 2023. 

A Synod of Bishops, from the Greek word “to journey together,” is a gathering of bishops called by the Holy Father to reflect and to offer counsel on important pastoral matters in the life of the Church. 

The 2023 Synod will be on the subject of “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission”-that is, on synodality.  Synodality concerns the People of God journeying together, and reflecting together on the journey, so as to live communion, to achieve participation, and to be open to mission.