Daily Routines of Synod Delegates

Introduction: A Peek into the Daily Life of Synod Delegates

The ongoing Synod on Synodality in Rome provides a unique opportunity to delve into the daily lives of synod delegates. From morning coffee breaks to evening prayers, this article offers a glimpse into their experiences.

Morning Gatherings:

Small Groups and General Congregations

Each day’s agenda includes sessions in small groups or full-group congregations. Morning meetings often start with a mid-morning coffee break, a much-anticipated interlude that allows for informal conversations.

Delegates move towards the coffee station, engage in discussions about the synod’s topics, their personal lives, weekends, and ministries.

Meet Judicial Vicar Montelongo:

A Glimpse into His Background

One of the synod delegates, Montelongo, shares his unique journey. Ordained in 2020, he currently serves as the judicial vicar and vocation director for the El Paso Diocese. Born in California, he spent his childhood in Mexico until the age of 15 when he relocated to Texas with his family.

Lunch Break and Siesta:

A Time for Rest and Nourishment

The synod assembly takes a break from 12:30 to 4 p.m. U.S. delegates return to the North American College during this time to enjoy a traditional siesta and have lunch.

Montelongo mentions that he also utilizes this break to catch up on work or emails from back home.

Afternoon Sessions:

Delegates Return to the Vatican

At 3:30 p.m., a bus departs to take delegates back to the Vatican. The synod assembly reconvenes from 4 p.m. to approximately 7:15 p.m. before returning to the NAC for dinner.

Evening Tasks:

Preparation and Night Prayers

After dinner, there are various tasks to complete, such as preparing remarks for the “free” speeches segment. Rapporteurs of their tables also work on presenting their group’s views in a general congregation.

The day concludes with night prayers before rest.

Weekend Break:

A Day of Respite and Exploration

During a weekend break, such as Saturday, delegates have an afternoon off from meetings.

Montelongo reveals that he uses this time to recharge, complete work, and even take care of mundane tasks like laundry. It’s a much-needed break from the rigorous schedule.

Exploring Rome:

A Glimpse of Rome’s Charm

On a Sunday designated as a “day of vacation” for the Synod on Synodality, Montelongo attends Mass in St. Peter’s Square and takes the opportunity to explore the Jewish neighborhood of Rome with friends for lunch. It’s a moment of respite amidst the synod’s responsibilities.

Delegates’ Perspective:

Balancing Work and Gratitude

As the synod reaches its midway point, delegates like Montelongo express their mixed feelings. While grateful for the experience and its significance in the Church’s history, they also acknowledge the pending work back in their dioceses. Montelongo is already looking forward to the next synod session in October 2024.


A Valuable Opportunity

For synod delegates, this experience is an incredible opportunity to contribute to the Church’s dialogue and bring valuable insights from their regions.

It’s a journey marked by dedication and a sense of responsibility as they work together to shape the future of the Church.

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