Synod Sample Questions

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston 

1.) Companions on the Journey: 
• In our Church, who are those who we “walk” with on our faith journey? 
• Who are those most active in our parish? 
• Who are those who come to Mass quietly and leave quickly? 
• What can we do to be a more welcoming community, especially to those who feel left 
out or are less involved in the life of our parish?

2.) Listening:
• How is God speaking to us through others we encounter? 
• How are the laity listened to in the Church, especially women and young people? 
• What helps or prevents us from listening to them? 
• Are we able to provide opportunities to hear the voices of minorities, those 
experiencing poverty and excluded from society? 
• What are some limitations in our ability to listen, especially to those who have different 
views than our own? 
• How do we listen to the contributions of religious sisters and brothers? 

3.) Speaking Out: 
• What barriers do we face when speaking up courageously, candidly, and responsibly in 
our parish and in our community? 
• What enables us to speak up when something is important to us? 
• How should we relate to and make use of the media?
• Who speaks on behalf of the Christian community and how are they chosen? 

4.) Celebration:
• Are we and other Catholics convinced that we truly receive Jesus himself in Holy
Communion (the Eucharist) and not a mere symbol of him or just a piece of bread?
• How do prayer and liturgical celebrations actually inspire and guide our common life 
and mission to society? 
• How do they inspire our decisions and our actions? 
• How do we promote the active participation of all the faithful in the liturgy? 
• How do we encourage parishioners to serve in a particular ministry?

5.) Sharing Responsibility for our Common Mission: 
• Since we are all missionary disciples, how is every baptized person called to participate 
in the mission of the Church? 
• What might be some reasons that keep someone from participating in the mission of 
the Church? 
• How does the church community support its members who serve society in various 
ways (social and political involvement, scientific research, education, promoting social 
justice, protecting human rights, caring for the environment, etc.)?
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston 
• How does the Church help these members to live out their service to society in a 
missionary way?

6.) Dialogue in Church and Society: 
• Do we make sure to include a diverse group of people in our church community when 
we have a dialogue? 
• Where does this dialogue take place? How do we promote collaboration with 
neighboring dioceses, religious communities in the area, lay associations and 
movements, etc.? 
• How are differences, conflicts and difficulties addressed? 
• What particular issues in the Church and society do we need to pay more attention to?
• What relationship do we have with believers of other religions and with those who have 
no religious affiliation? 
• How does the Church interact with and learn from politics, economics, culture, civil 
society, and people who live in poverty? 

7.) Ecumenism:
• What relationships do we have with members of other Christian traditions and 
• How can we come together with them to continue the mission of the Church?
• What successes have we achieved working with other Christians? 
• What prevents us from coming together?

8.) Authority and Participation:
• How does a Bishop exercise authority in the Church?
• Who should he consult with? 
• How does a pastor exercise authority in his parish?
• Who should he consult with?

9.) Discerning and Deciding:
• How do we promote participation in decision-making within hierarchical structures? 
• Do our decision-making methods help us to listen to the whole People of God? 
• What is the relationship between consultation and decision-making, and how do we put 
these into practice? 
• What tools and procedures do we use to promote transparency and accountability? 

10.) Forming Ourselves in Synodality:
• How do we create a Church community that promotes inclusion, listening to one 
another, participating in the mission, and engaging in dialogue? 
• What type of formation do we need to offer our community to grow spiritually and 
ensure the participation of all the faithful?