The pope made the comment in his annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations message.
The pope spoke off the cuff to members of the International Union of Superiors General.
The letter was sent by Cardinal Kurt Koch and Cardinal Mario Grech.
The pope was speaking to French Catholic Action groups.
The diocesan phase will last from October 2021 to April 2022.
The two-year process leading to the synod formally opens this weekend.
He was addressing Catholics from the Diocese of Rome.
The way of being church through membership in Small Christian Communities (SCCs) in Africa portrays a true experience of communion and collaboration, a Catholic Priest has said.
Pope Francis launched Tuesday the Vatican’s seven-year Laudato si’ action plan to implement environmental sustainability in different sectors of the Church from religious orders to Catholic schools and hospitals.
The next ordinary Synod of Bishops will be a synod on synodality, the Vatican announced March 7.
Pope Francis told the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s theological commission Friday that synodality will be key for the Church in the future.
The Amazon synod final document, published Saturday, laid out the need to define “ecological sins” while calling the Church to walk new paths of “integral conversion.”
As the Amazon synod nears a close, a communications official downplayed Wednesday the importance of the assembly’s final report, saying it is not an official Church document, but merely an “instrument” in the synodal journey.
Pope Francis said Wednesday that the first Christian evangelization of the pagans opened up “a very lively controversy” as the early Church discerned how to absorb new members from outside the people of Israel.