To the editor:
Lawrence is rich in history and, as evidenced in the recent past, the people of Lawrence love to celebrate historical events. Only a few people are aware of something that took place April 26 in downtown Lawrence. The first lay synod of the Roman Catholic Church ever held in Kansas was convened.
Synods are usually gatherings of bishops, and the organizers of the first lay synod held in southern Illinois in 2002 were very deliberate in choosing to put those two words together. The purpose of the lay synod was to study sections of canon law that outline the rights, duties and obligations of the laity.
When the lay synod was first announced, I was interested in participating but didn't register. However, a statement in an article in the Lawrence Journal-World that the Archbishop prohibited pastors from publicizing the event in parish bulletins finalized my decision to attend. About 80 Catholics from northeast Kansas and the Kansas City area made up the group. The presenters were Sister Kate Kuenstler, a canon lawyer, and Lena Woltering, an activist in church reform and social justice.
Will this event and the other lay synods being held around the United States have an impact on the future? Only time will tell.