Celebrating Synodality

Synods as a Spiritual Practice

with Dr. Brian Flanagan, Marymount University

For more resources, including upcoming programs, relating to LGBTQ issues and the Synod, click here.

This program occurred on January 23, 2022.

Program Description

Rather than just “holding” synods and councils, the church “celebrates” them. A synod is not a meeting at which there happens to be some prayer, but instead is a liturgy, a collective act of prayer and discernment.

In this presentation, Dr. Brian Flanagan will outline the liturgical and spiritual foundations of synodality, and explore how all Catholics, especially LGBTQ Catholics and their supporters, can respond to Pope Francis’s call for full and active participation in the synod on synodality.

We will examine the synod as an act of faith, hope, and love: faith in the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the church, hope for the future possibilities in which we might walk together as Catholics, and love for God, each other, and the wider world.


Brian P. Flanagan is associate professor for theology at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, and the President of the College Theology Society. He is completing a monograph on synods and synodality to be published by Paulist Press in 2022, and is the author of Stumbling in Holiness: Sin and Sanctity in the Church. Flanagan serves on the advisory board of New Ways Ministry.