2014 Synod on the Family in Rome
Just about a year ago, on October 8, 2013, Pope Francis called on the bishops of the world to re-examine the Church's role in reaching out to families. The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization was to be taken up in two parts. Showing his concern for the current lack of pastoral responsiveness to modern families, Pope Francis called for an Extraordinary Synod on the Family (October 5 - 19, 2014) as the first part of a process for examining the challenges facing the Church and Catholic families today. The first synod will lead to a second, "ordinary" synod that will be held October 4 - 25, 2015. Pope Francis has asked our prayers for the upcoming Synod with these words:
Prayer to the Holy Family
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendor of true love, to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth, may the approaching Synod of Bishops make us once more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, graciously hear our prayer. Amen— Pope Francis
Gratefully, Father Philip Waibel, OSB, Pastor