OTTAWA – The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed the news from the Holy See’s General Secretariat of the Synod of the delegates appointed for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held this October. The two episcopal conferences serve as the coordinating entities for the North American region for the Synod, which is themed, For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission. The first session of the Synod will be held at the Vatican on 4-29 October 2023, and the second session is scheduled to be held in October 2024.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis announced that participation in the Synod in October 2023 would be expanded to include non-bishop members, which would be a group of individuals from each of the regional groupings of episcopal conferences. The ten non-bishop voting delegates from Canada and the United States chosen to represent the North America region are:
- Sami Aoun, Eastern Catholic Eparchies of Canada: Maronite, Melkite and Syriac
- Catherine Clifford, Archdiocese of Gatineau
- Chantal Desmarais, s.c.s.m., Diocese of Joliette
- Linda Staudt, Diocese of London
- Cynthia Bailey Manns, Min, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
- Richard Coll, Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
- Ivan Montelongo, Diocese of El Paso
- Wyatt Olivas, Diocese of Cheyenne
- Julia Osęka, Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Leticia Salazar, ODN, Diocese of San Bernardino
The bishop delegates representing the episcopal conferences in Canada and the United States are:
- Archbishop J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., Archdiocese of Vancouver
- Bishop William T. McGrattan, Diocese of Calgary and Vice President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Bishop Marc Pelchat, Archdiocese of Quebec
- Bishop Raymond Poisson, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme-Mont-Laurier and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archdiocese of New York
- Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Archbishop William C. Skurla, Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
- Bishop Robert E. Barron, Diocese of Winona-Rochester
- Bishop Kevin C. Rhodes, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
The members of the Synod for Canada and the United States appointed by the Pontiff are as follows:
- Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archdiocese of Chicago
- Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, Archdiocese of Seattle
- Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory, Archdiocese of Washington
- Cardinal Gérald C. Lacroix, Archdiocese of Quebec*
- Cardinal Robert W. McElroy, Diocese of San Diego
- Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archdiocese of Boston
- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archdiocese of Newark*
- James Martin, S.J.
*denotes members of the Ordinary Council of the Synod.
“This is a moment of joy for the Church. The delegates express their gratitude to the Holy Father for the invitation to work together for the Universal Church,” says Bishop Raymond Poisson of Saint-Jérôme-Mont-Laurier, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. “We hope that we can walk together on this synodal adventure, and we will continue to invoke the Holy Spirit to guide us towards a deeper communion in Christ. We invite all Catholics to pray for all Synod delegates and for the fruitfulness of their work”.
All of the North American delegates will participate in communal spiritual formation, preparation, and reflection on the Instrumentum Laboris in anticipation of the Synod in October. Released last month, the document forms the basis for the discernment and discussion for the participants of the first session of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.