Prayer and Fasting Request for Synod
Dear Friends in Christ,
Back in February, Pope Francis asked us to join in prayer for the coming Synod of Bishops, meeting in Rome from 5th to 19th October.
The topic, “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelisation”, is vital for the life of the Church. In my first pastoral letter to you in 2010, I wrote: “The renewal of the domestic church must be our pastoral focus. If we could begin to do that, how many dry branches in the Church would begin to bud with life again!”.
From the earliest days of the Church, we have had to work through issues where doctrine and practice meet. This is one such moment. Our prayers should be with the participants in the Synod, that they would open their minds to the Holy Spirit in all humility. They should also be with Pope Francis, who as the successor of St Peter, must eventually resolve debates.
Pope Francis has now asked that, on Sunday 28th September, Catholics throughout the world devote some time to praying for God’s guidance and blessing on the Synod. As this will be Social Justice Sunday in Australia, the Australian bishops have added two further dates: Friday 10th October as a day of prayer and fasting; and Sunday 12th October for parish prayer.
Our Church is not a club or a corporation, but a living presence of Christ in the world. Our pastoral discussions need study, thought and debate; but above all they need the Holy Spirit, praying in us.
I ask you to join in that prayer, trusting in its power.
Bishop of Bathurst
NB: The Working Document for the October meeting can be read at:
Further reading about the Synod can be found at http://www.familiam.org/famiglia_eng/church/00005685_Synod_on_the_Family.html.