Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger will celebrate a special liturgy Sunday, October 24, at 5 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany to mark the start of the worldwide synod taking place in dioceses across the country and around the globe at the invitation of Pope Francis.


Guided by the theme “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation, and mission,” the synod is an effort to give local Catholics an opportunity to give voice to their experience of faith and have a role in developing plans to direct the future of the Church. It is the first phase of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will be held in 2023.


“We are already very much doing ‘synodality’ in our Diocese, through our parish networks and other efforts to mobilize the local Church at the grassroots level. We are celebrating this liturgy as a sign of our recommitment to the goal of including everyone in the process moving forward,” said Bishop Scharfenberger. “We want to encourage the people themselves to consider what and who should be part of the mission of their parishes and to think outside the box about how we can best draw others to Jesus Christ.”


The October 24 liturgy is open to priests, deacons, parish life coordinators and two lay representatives from each parish. The Mass will be livestreamed on the diocesan website at