The Dialogic Process

Inspired by and in response to Pope Francis’ advocacy, Gathering for Mission makes available to ecclesial leaders and seminaries in the United States and Canada practical experience in the dialogic process.

Upon the invitation of the bishop, Gathering for Mission offers a facilitated day-long experience of the dialogic process including deep listening and open sharing for clergy.

Experience shows that participants are quick to recognize how their newly acquired skills can enhance and benefit their mission. Subsequent visits are scheduled for diocesan staff, and other leaders, according to the dynamics of the diocese and the bishop’s desire.

Gathering for Mission engages all levels of church leadership in dialogue with the voice and vision of Pope Francis. Aware of the potential for transformation, he has advocated consistently for the use of dialogue. Speaking to the bishops of the United States during his 2015 Apostolic Visit, the Holy Father stated:

Dialogue is our method…The path ahead, then, is dialogue among yourselves, dialogue in your presbyterates, dialogue with lay persons, dialogue with families, dialogue with society. I cannot ever tire of encouraging you to dialogue fearlessly. The richer the heritage which you are called to share with parrhesia, the more eloquent should be the humility with which you should offer it. Do not be afraid to set out on that “exodus” which is necessary for all authentic dialogue.

Focal Points for Gatherings

The focal points for the gatherings are video triptychs from a new series commissioned for the project and produced by Maryknoll Media. Each includes a teaching of Christ Jesus, a related teaching of Pope Francis, and a modern-day witness to the teaching.

The video themes include:

  • Called to Be Disciples
  • The Joy of the Gospel
  • A Humble, Pilgrim Church
  • A Church That Listens
  • The People of God
  • Nothing Is Impossible with God
  • Hearts of Mercy and Compassion
  • Building a Culture of Encounter
  • The Cry of the Poor
  • Caring for Our Common Home
  • All Are Welcome
  • Discerning New Voices and New Gifts

…dialogue demands of us a truly contemplative spirit of openness and receptivity to the other.

I cannot engage in dialogue if I am closed to others.
Openness? Even more: acceptance!

Come to my house, enter my heart. My heart welcomes you. It wants to hear you.

This capacity for empathy enables a true human dialogue
in which words, ideas and questions arise
from an experience of fraternity and shared humanity.

Pope Francis