Celebrating a Season of Hope
Listening Assemblies for Change
The American Catholic Council has seen great success through sponsoring local and regional Listening Assemblies. Prior to the Council in Detroit in 2011, over a hundred assemblies (Listening Sessions) were held throughout the US and Canada to help formulate policies that were discussed and adopted when the Council convened in Detroit in June of 2011. After the Council, Listening Assemblies once again convened across the land to promote a greater understanding of the Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (CBRR) that had been unanimously adopted in Detroit. Now, in this new time, we find cause for a Season of Hope, engendered by the election of a new Pope.
The ACC is encouraging all Catholics to gather in local and regional communities to once again “listen” to one another and the Spirit, as they give voice to their deepest hopes for change in the local and universal Church. ACC Listening Assemblies have a proven track record. We are confident this this newest round will:
1) build local solidarity;
2) focus attention on feasible local change;
3) create a covenant for action; and
4) connect local groups to the wider church reform movement.
Appendices and Related Resources for Listening Sessions:
Session #1 HANDOUTS: On Pope Francis’ Style; IMWAC – About the International Movement WE ARE CHURCH
Session #3 HANDOUTS: On Conscience;
Post Assembly Report: Please note that each Listening Assembly organizer is asked to submit an online report (Listening Assembly Response Form) immediately after holding the sessions. Please follow the directions included with the Template to contribute to our cumulative results. These responses will enable ACC to collate a collective “wish list” for IMWAC (the International Movement We are Church) as the latter prepares an international gathering in Rome in the fall of 2015 (Council 50). Data from the reports will also be helpful to ACC in efforts to publicize other listening assemblies as well as to follow up with local communities where actions are taking place.
Logistics: Templates for three separate Sessions are supplied. Sessions can be held singly or combined into a day-long format. Organizers are encouraged to read through the entire template and develop a structure best suited for local needs.
Setup:The setup needs will be dictated by the setting, i.e. Living Rooms, Parish Halls, Hotel Conference Rooms, etc. If your group is large, you may want to consider Table Rounds of 8 to foster dialogue. You may also consider having a snack/refreshment table available as folks arrive.
Registration Ask all participants to check in and provide contact information. Some may wish to use a pre-registration process, especially if the session is a full day and involves a lunch and/or a registration fee/donation to cover the costs of the event. Procuring email addresses of all participants is essential for effective follow-up after the event!