Pope Francis has repeatedly said that he would appreciate that ordinary faithful people, especially those with a family, submit proposals to bring the pastoral care of the church up to date. If they organize dialogue gatherings and send him reports, they can give him an idea of how the gospel is lived out in practice. Of course it remains an exciting question, what the Pope and bishops will do with those reports. Enthusiasm of groups can sustain by taking time for reflection on parts of the Gospel, on a dream situation, on the testimony of hero’s and on permanent presence of the Holy Spirit.
After 15 dialogues Vision can tell how it might work.
You start a pilot dialogue with four to seven friends or likeminded people in your own home. After two or more sessions you become an expert. Visit a reform minded pastor. Discus with him the wish of pope Francis for dialogues of ordinary faithful people including pastors. Ask him to fish around for colleagues, who would like to be involved in plans for dialogues. A week or more later you ask him how many might participate. Start with small groups at the presbyteries with people who might become experts as well. After a few of such sessions let it grow to meetings with many tables. Start every dialogue with summarizing the supposed attitude, the four steps and explaing the chosen issue.
Before promoting dialogues, one should know the very difference of dialogue from discussion
The rules are as follows:
1. Tell from your own perspective or experience
2. Let the other tell her/his story. Let the other work this out completely.
3. Be really curious about the experiences, thoughts and feelings of others. Try to open up your mind. Set depth questions
4. Appreciate the story of others, do not judge. Each perspective and everyone's contribution counts.
5. Some people will need more time to think about their answers. Allow people search. Allow or that it is silent for a while.
1 Getting acquainted
2 Sharing of experiences
3 Sharing of dreams
At 1 Participants introduce themselves, not professionally but for instance by telling what they think at a pictures of pope Francis or at a song/poem.
At 2 Participants share personal
experiences with the issue given with the invitation. What is your experience or feeling with the issue
At 3 Participants can freely give utterance to wishes/dreams and what they see as ideal circumstances for the issue or sub-issue.
At 4 Each participant is invited to to explain, with which action the ideal could be brought nearer.
Comprehensive guidelines can be found in
the books of David Cooperrider and in
Appreciative Inquiry in the Catholic Church of Sue Paddock
Limits of helpfulness
Equal right of say
Authority and democracy
Matrimony and being together
Forgiveness in the family
Shepherds and sheep