Marian University Students, Faculty, and Staff Send Discussion Topics to Pope Francis

by Mikayla S. Jette | May 06, 2022

“The Pope Is Listening and So Are We!” That’s the slogan of the Marian University Campus Ministry Council’s efforts to involve Marian University students, faculty, and staff in the first worldwide Synod. In October 2021, Pope Francis announced a two-year process called “Synod 2021-2023: For a Synodal Church.”  

The term synod means journey together. It ignites Pope Francis’s goal of inviting the whole church to journey together in these next steps of the faith. The process reaches a wide audience to create a more authentic discussion on where the church is currently. Local bishops and universities are inviting their communities to use their voice and address topics often dismissed in faith community settings.  

How is Marian involved? Marian’s Campus Ministry Council (CMC) was given the task of reaching out to the many voices on campus: religious and non-religious, students and faculty/staff, Catholic and non-Catholic. Emily Parsons ’23 attended the listening session. “CMC created an excellent safe space where people could voice their views.”  

At tables set up around local spots on campus, students played games, had conversations, and discussed questions from different themes of the synod including Dialogue, Authority and Participation, Ecumenism, Discerning and Deciding, Listening, and more. CMC Discipleship Chair Megan Roell ’25 said, “I helped decide which questions were best to ask students and how we should gather their responses.”  

Another aspect involved students and staff attending listening sessions for continued dialogue. They answered similar questions and all responses were recorded. “I was surprised by the many different responses we received,” Roell said. “The CMC team was impressed by the student body and how many stopped to thoughtfully express their feelings and values.”  

A CMC team compiled all the responses into a two-page document highlighting the key important points throughout the dialogue. This document was sent to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and to the Vatican, in Rome, where the Pope and a community of Bishops will gather in 2023 to discuss the responses.  

Marian’s responses will also be filed in the University Office of Mission and Ministry and used as references to better improve ministry on campus. Dialogue doesn’t stop once the document is sent off. Parsons says, “I think it was a good opportunity not only for the global church to hear feedback, but also good for University Ministry to receive feedback as well.”  

University ministry is committed to this continued journey of walking together with students through the development of faith on campus. “Students need to have ownership of their faith and campus needs to reflect the diversity of spiritual needs,” Parsons concluded. “While the Church is for people of all ages, we will be the ones paving the way for future generations.”  

News Media Contact

Brad R. Wucher
Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing Communications
(317) 955-6307
Stokley Mansion, Room #1

Can't Find What You're Looking For?

Search for it.