The Vatican

Pope calls on young people to pray for Synod at ecumenical gathering

Thousands of young people from all over Europe are gathered in Rome from September 29 to October 1 for a great Ecumenical Prayer Vigil called by Pope Francis to entrust the work of the Synod of Bishops.

Giovanni Tridente-January 25, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes
synod prayer

The People of God -especially the youth- will gather to pray for the work of the upcoming Synod of BishopsThe event will be held through a Vigil with a declaredly ecumenical focus. This is the initiative TogheterPope Francis launched after the Angelus of Sunday, January 15inviting young people from all over the world to gather in Rome on the evening of September 30, before the beginning of the Synodal Assembly, scheduled (the first phase) for October 4-29.

Ecumenism will be at the center of this event. The Holy Father said, introducing the Vigil and anticipating that that weekend there will be a special program prepared by the Taizé Community for the young people who will come to Rome.

Stops to celebrate unity

In fact, it was the current prior of the ecumenical community, Brother Alois, who took part in the opening of the Synod in October 2021, who hoped that along the synodal journey "there will be moments of respite, like pauses, to celebrate the unity already achieved in Christ and to make it visible".

Meetings in which not only the delegates could participate, but all the people of God, not only Catholics, but also the faithful of other Churches, sisters and brothers in Christ made such by the same Baptism.

Even then, Brother Roger's successor believed that the initiative could also be a warning for peace, thanks to unity and sharing.

Pope Francis himself had underlined a few months ago, during the Audience granted to His Holiness Mar Awa III, Catholicos and Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, the close relationship between synodality and ecumenism, which must therefore also characterize the path now being traveled in the Church.

As a contribution to peace

On the initiative's website, www.together2023.netIn this regard, the importance of the journey among fellow travelers is emphasized, making them aware that "they need each other, not to be stronger together, but as a contribution to peace in the human family". By living the ecumenical communion "we can draw the impetus to face the challenges of today in the face of the polarizations that fracture the human family and the cry of the Earth".

In particular, all young people between 18 and 35 years of age from different countries of Europe and from all Christian traditions are invited to the meeting. Togheter. They will be hosted in Roman parishes and will stay with families in the city.

Young Catholics will be able to experience this additional appointment in continuity with the World Youth Day which will take place in Lisbon in early August.

Under the same tent

The image chosen as the logo is inspired by the logo of the synodal journey - the silhouettes of many people on the way with different life situations, generations and origins - and adds a tent, as a reminder of the verse from Isaiah 54:2: "Enlarge the space of your tent!", which is also an invitation to bring us all "under the same tent", a space of communion and a place of God's presence.

The centerpiece of the weekend - from Friday, October 29 to Sunday, October 1 - will be the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil on Saturday evening in St. Peter's Square, in the presence of Pope Francis and representatives of the other Churches, which will include listening to the Word of God, praise and intercession, Taizé songs and silence.

On Friday, the young people will stay in a host parish and in a house; on Saturday morning, the program will include a series of "itineraries" with meetings and visits to various places in Rome, including participation in workshops, round tables and spiritual conversations.

Various confessions

Some fifty ecclesial realities of various denominations are already working on the preparations: churches and ecclesial federations, communities and movements, youth pastoral services, etc. In addition to the Taizé Community, the Holy See is collaborating on behalf of the Holy See with the Synod Secretariatthe Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity, the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity, the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life and the Vicariate of the Diocese of Rome.

In the meantime, from March 12-14, delegates from the various ecclesial realities involved will meet in the Eternal City to take initial stock of the organization, which will continue in the following months, until June, to plan the various logistical solutions. The initiative can be accessed on social networks with the hashtag #Togheter2023.

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