The Synod on Synodality will start on  October 4th in the Vatican up to the end of the month. Among the special guests is Margaret Karram, President of the Focolare Movement.

We are on the threshold of the universal stage of the 2021-2024 Synod on Synodality. On Saturday, September 30th 2023, St. Peter’s Square in Rome (Italy) will gather thousands of people from various Christian Churches for the Ecumenical Vigil, “Together – Gathering of the People of God”, promoted by the Taizé Community in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, the Vicariate of Rome, the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. The protagonists of this event will be young people. At the end of this moment of prayer and celebration, the 464 participants in the synodal assembly will move to Sacrofano, near Rome, for a spiritual retreat until  October 3rd. They will return to the Vatican for the solemn opening of the Synod with the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on Wednesday, October 4th.

Immediately afterwards, the cardinals, bishops, religious and laity who will participate in the Synod will begin their work in the Paul VI Hall. For four weeks, the members will participate in plenary assemblies, minor circles, a pilgrimage and moments of prayer and liturgy until  October 29th.

The President of the Focolare Movement, Margaret Karram, who is among the 9 invited guests, sent a message to all the members of the Movement in the world, expressing what she was thinking about this historic milestone in the Catholic Church: “I cannot hide my feelings from you; above all, my happiness at being able to participate in person in this moment of grace. I am aware that I am taking with me each and every one of you from the Focolare Movement and this is also a great responsibility”.

“I am sure – she continues – that many of you have already participated in a stage of the synodal journey in your local churches and have already experienced some of the fruits of the journey. You will have lived them as new opportunities for a dialogue that leads to deeper and broader communion and participation.

(…) In this coming session of the Synod we are called even more to ‘walk together’ as the ‘people of God’, so that this may become a permanent and daily reality in our lives for the good of the Church and of humanity”.

“This has put in my heart– she says – a great desire: that we should commit ourselves – as the Focolare Movement – to improve, to go one step further, to strengthen and refine our relationships of unity, and to be builders of fraternity in every environment in which we live or work”.

And she concludes by inviting everyone to accompany “this new and promising season of the Church” with prayer: “Finally, I ask you for the most important thing: to pray! ‘Without prayer there will be no Synod, said Pope Francis, as does the Secretary General, Cardinal Grech, encouraging everyone to pray with faith and seriousness. It means listeninng to God with the kind of recollection that gives space to Him and allows our hearts and minds to be illuminated by His light. (…) also as part of all the people around the world who are praying and offering , so that the Synod – whose protagonist is the Holy Spirit – may bear the greatest fruit for humanity today and in the future”.

Carlos Mana

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