MILWAUKEE (WITI) — It was a big weekend for Catholics in southeastern Wisconsin, as they cast votes on the future of the church. This isn’t something that happens often. In fact, it’s been 27 years!
The event is called a synod.
It is a gathering of Catholics from the 10 counties that make up the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
On Sunday, June 8th, they voted on the direction they’d like to see the church go.
A traditional Mass on Sunday marked the end of the synod.
Delegates, representing more than 200 parishes in the Archdiocese, as well as Catholic hospitals, schools and charities spent the weekend voting on what they think priorities of the Archdiocese should be over the next 10 to 15 years.
“They`re praying over which way we should place our priorities and where we should place our resources,” Archbishop Jerome Listecki said.
The electronic devices used to tally votes on Sunday weren’t around the last time the synod was held — back in 1987.
Among the top priorities voted on by these delegates is the use of new technology to draw Catholics back into the church.
“People talked about trying to get Catholics who maybe come to church once a month or once a year to come back and visit the Catholic Church again,” Rev. Dennis Saran said.
“We have a lot of dormant Catholics out there, sleepy Catholics out there,” Archbishop Listecki said.
Archbishop Listecki says one of the group’s top priorities is launching a campaign to promote marriage and family.
This recommendation comes just days after a federal judge overturned Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex marriage.
“It`s more than just a contract and to understand that and to live that out gives a quality to the relationship between and man and a woman in marriage that sometimes is forgotten in our secular world,” Archbishop Listecki said.
“I think that`s not just local but I think the Catholic Church universal is also interested in looking at the marriage and family because we really think the Catholic Church feels the family is really the Catholic Church in miniature,” Rev. Saran said.
Delegates voted for a number of priorities on Sunday — that all go to Archbishop Listecki as recommendations.
In September, Archbishop Listecki will release a plan to further those priorities over the next decade and beyond.