Daily Archives:October 4th, 2018

Holy Father’s Invitation to Pray Rosary Everyday

Read here the Holy Father’s Invitation to Pray Rosary Everyday



Synod on Young People: Moment of Grace

Opening Mass of the XV Synod of Bishops celebrated in St Peter’s Square (Vatican Media)

The XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops begins on Wednesday. The Synod’s theme is Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”.

VATICAN – Today begins the Synod of Bishops in which young people are the subject. From 3-28 October, Synod Fathers from all over the world, and other invited participants, will explore the theme “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”.

Synod process

The Synod process began in October 2016 when Pope Francis announced the Synod’s theme. In January 2017, the initial phase of the Synod began with a letter of the Holy Father to young people, and the publication of the Preparatory Document.

Input solicited

Input solicited through the Preparatory Document was gathered from the local Churches. In addition, input from young people was requested through an online questionnaire. More than 200,000 young people responded either completely or partially to this questionnaire.

Young people participate

In order to include the voices of young people in a more concrete way, a Pre-Synod meeting was held in Rome from 19-24 March 2018. 300 young people participated in Rome and 15,000 others participated virtually. On that occasion, Pope Francis said, “the Church wants to listen to the voice, sensitivity, faith and also the doubts and criticisms of the young. We must listen to the young.” A document prepared by the young people who came from all over the world, and represented Catholics, non-Catholics, and unbelievers, was presented to Pope Francis on Palm Sunday. The working document for the Synod contains material from this document as well as a summary of the input sent in from the local churches.

The Synod begins

Until the closing Mass of 28 October, Synod participants will be meeting daily. Their days will begin and end with prayer. Much of the time will be spent listening to the interventions given by a number of the over 250 bishops, the almost 40 young people, and other auditors, experts, consultants and fraternal delegates invited to participate in the Synod. In the midst of the Synod, on 14 October, Pope Francis will canonize Pope Paul IV, under whose pontificate the first Synod of Bishops was held in 1967. The Synod of Bishops will present to the Holy Father their final report on which the Pope is expected to base a future Apostolic Exhortation on the Synod theme.-  Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp,Vatican News, 03 Oct 2018


Synod is a time for sharing

Pope Francis leads mid-afternoon prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours at the opening session of the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (Vatican Media)

VATICAN – Pope Francis leads the assembled gathering in the Liturgy of the Hours, and gives the opening address at the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

In his Opening Speech for the Fifteenth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis said “the Synod we are living is a time for sharing” – sharing that must involve both speaking with courage and frankness, and listening with humility. The Synod, he said, “must be an exercise in dialogue,” especially for those directly participating in the event.

Pope Francis emphasized that the Synod “is an ecclesial exercise in discernment,” an “interior attitude rooted in an act of faith.” One of the innovations in this General Assembly will be moments of silence after every five speeches, precisely in order for participants to discern what they have heard.

The importance of listening was in important motif in the Pope’s speech. In order to be a Church that “listens and journeys,” Pope Francis said we must “leave behind” our “prejudice and stereotypes.” In particular, he warned against both the “scourge of clericalism” and the “virus of self-sufficiency.”

Despite the troubles the Church faces today, Pope Francis reminded us that “our faith tells us that it is also the Kairos,” God’s time, “in which the Lord comes to meet us in order to love us and call us to the fullness of life.”

“May the Synod awaken our hearts!” he proclaimed, expressing the hope that “the meeting between generations” might “be extremely fruitful for giving rise to hope.”

During the Synod, Pope Francis said, “let us ‘spend time with the future,’” in order “to take from this Synod not merely a document – that generally is only read by a few and criticized by many – but above all concrete pastoral proposals capable of fulfilling the Synod’s purpose.” – Christopher Wells, Vatican News, 03 Oct 2018

Julian Paparella: what I’m going to tell the Synod of Bishops

Julian Paparella, auditor at the Synod of Bishops on Young People

VATICAN – The Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Discernment opened on Wednesday in the Vatican. One of the young people invited to attend and to address the Synod talks about his hopes, expectations, and even about the issues he intends to raise.

We’ve heard the presentation and listened to the General Secretary explain its aims, we know that the over 300 Synod Fathers gathered in the Vatican Synod Hall will produce a final document, and that there are 34 young people who will have the precious opportunity to address the Synod on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” and even have an impact on its outcome. But who are they?  What are their expectations for the next three busy weeks? What does it feel like for them to have been chosen to represent their peers and raise new issues at such a crucial event for the life of the Church?

I had a word with 25-year-old Julian Paparella from London Diocese in Ontario, Canada.   He followed a degree in biology with a Masters in Theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris and is currently working as Campus Minister at McGill University in Montreal helping accompany students in their faith.

Julian told me of his great surprise upon receiving the invitation from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Canada to participate in the Synod.

Julian’s involvement with the Canadian Catholic “Salt & Light” TV where he has interned and his experience at the Catholic Institute in Paris were probably the reason, he said, his name came to the fore when the bishops were asked to select a candidate.

“I was surprised and I hope I’ll continue to be surprised” he said as he begins this experience, “a great gift” during which he has been asked to serve the Universal Church.

A voice for young people

“I’m just hopeful that I will be able to serve in this capacity, as a voice for young people, trying to make the Synod Fathers,  the Holy Father, more sensitive to the current realities and needs of young people”.

Julian stressed that he will not be presenting his own views and opinions, but “the questions and the needs of young people, their concerns, their questions of faith, their lived reality so that the Church can better accompany young people of today”.

A perennial need to re-adjust

Julian spoke of what he sees as a constant need for the Church to continue to re-engage with young people and really be in their midst pointing out that those needs and concerns will constantly evolve.

“With every new generation there will be a need to re-evaluate, re-understand what young people are living”, how can the Church be better present to walk with them towards Jesus, he said.

He pointed out that there certainly is a need right now in the Church for re-adjustment and expressed his appreciation for the fact that the Pope sees that and has responded with something as significant as a Synod of Bishops but, he said “I don’t think that need will ever go away”.

Jesus Christ will never be irrelevant

Reiterating his deep belief that the Gospel will never be irrelevant for young people, Julian recalled the words of Saint Pope John Paul II when he said “Jesus Christ is the answer to the question posed by every human heart”.

We all thirst for Jesus Christ, he said, and  “whether or not they know it, all young people are thirsting for his Love.” And so, he continued, the question is: “how does the Church become an instrument and a vehicle by which young people are able to encounter this love of God”.

The only questions of possible irrelevance, Julian said, regard the ways and the means with which the Church is reaching or not reaching young people. – Linda Bordoni, Vatican News, 03 Oct 2018


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