Now that I am back from the World Meeting of Families event in Philadelphia there is a plethora of new ideas, resources, initiatives, and pastoral programs I have come back with which I hope in good time to review and share with you, as well apply to my day to day work.
Examples can be found HERE and HERE. For now though it’s only right to focus our prayerful attention on the opening of the General Ordinary Synod of Bishops this Sunday the 4th October in Rome. The next three weeks are going to be extraordinary concerning this “ordinary” synod and we all know why. For over 12 months now the media and ecclesial spotlight on the pastoral care of the family and the sacrament of marriage has been relentless and now it heats up to a crescendo not knowing what will ensue by the end of it. To say it needs much intercession is an understatement. I have entitled this FAST “Spirit of Assisi” because I am mindful that as the Synod opens on the feast of St. Francis - the Pope’s patron - St. Francis was called by God to “rebuild his Church” i.e. be a source of purification of it from within, chiefly through the holiness of people's lives fully committed to the Gospel. It wasn't about the Saint causing a change in institutional structures but going back to basics. There is a sense in which we need the intercession of the poor man of Assisi today just as much as God calls us to rebuild the domestic church, (the family) because as the Pope declared in Philadelphia to the US bishops; “Without the family there is no Church!”
So prayer is absolutely vital over the next three weeks for this historic ecclesial event happening in Rome. So here are a couple of practical things:
Why not spiritually adopt a bishop at the synod so that you can pray for him by name every day, especially in this month of the Holy Rosary. I’m sure we could all recite a decade or two once a day with a particular name in mind? Just go to www.adoptasynodfather.org and you will receive an automatic reply with a delegate’s name for you to keep in prayer. I've already been allocated Bishop Xavier Johnsai Munyongani of Gweru, Zimbabwe.
Today is the Feast of the Guardian Angels. A few weeks back I mentioned that we must value these celestial friends of ours much more as they are so eager to help us by their intercession. So my guardian angel assigned to me from all eternity will be my advocate in Rome not only with the angel of Bishop Xavier Johnsai but in dialogue with all the guardian angels of all the fathers at the Synod.
We so need the bishops at the assembly to be truly fathers to us at this time of great need for Catholic family life and witness, so that their deliberations under the Holy Father’s leadership will bring us renewed energy, vigour, and deepened love for authentic Catholic family life founded upon marriage.
May God and His blessed Mother and all the angels and saints guide and bless the next three weeks with an intensity of heavenly grace and wisdom and courage.
- Edmund Adamus Director, Office of Marriage and Family Life - Diocese of Westminster