Karla Bellinger teaches and coaches preachers—mostly ordained Catholic men—to give effective homilies. “Effective preaching is like good butter sinking into warm toast,” she says. “You’ve gotta give the Holy Spirit a little bit of time to do some work.”
Among the main concerns they mentioned were the role of the laity, especially of women; the contribution of the church on ecology in light of the encyclical “Laudato Si’”; and “spiritual conversation,” a method of discernment that was adopted to structure discussions during the first assembly that could become a major legacy of the synod.
Pope Francis opened the new year by highlighting in his homily for the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and his Angelus message the same day, the central role women have played in salvation history and that they still have for bringing peace to the world.