Bishop Luis Marín de San Martín
Bishop Luis Marín de San Martín
A Mass marking the 175th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Portland is set for Sunday, Oct. 24, 11 a.m. at St. Mary Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Northwest Portland. The day, at which Archbishop Alexander Sample will preside, also is the start of the archdiocese’s participation in the worldwide Catholic Church’s new movement of listening to each other and following the Holy Spirit.

The second archdiocese established in the United States, the Archdiocese of Oregon City in 1846 covered the entire state of Oregon and Archbishop Francis Norbert Blanchet oversaw dioceses throughout the Pacific Northwest. The archdiocese changed its name in 1928, reflecting the growth of Portland. A frontier church and then a church in a society with many religiously unaffiliated citizens, the archdiocese long has had a collaborative spirit.

In October, Pope Francis will open a three-year synodal journey with diocesan, continental and universal phases of consultation and discernment, culminating with an assembly in October 2023 in Rome.

Synods were revived by Pope Paul VI as a way to continue the collegial experience of the Second Vatican Council. During the ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis expressed his desire for a common path for “laity, pastors and the Bishop of Rome.”

The results of diocesan discussions will go to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and eventually on to the Vatican. A draft document will emerge and be worked on, in the end reflecting both common wisdom and church teaching.

“Walking together is the challenge and hope of the church in this third millennium,” said Bishop Luis Marín de San Martín, undersecretary of the Synod of Bishops. “It is a way of being church and being a prophetic witness in the world today.”