Archbishop Nienstedt on the Synod of Bishops

The Pope believes it is the call of the Church today “to proclaim the Gospel by confronting the new and urgent pastoral needs facing the family.” Thus the Synodal Assembly, the Pope confesses, “is dedicated in a special way to you, your vocation and mission in the Church and in society; to the challenges of marriage, of family life, of the education of children; and the role of the family in the life of the Church.”

We know that it is in the family that children first learn of God’s great love for them. They experience that they are loved and know that they have intrinsic value through their relationship with their parents. They learn how to return that love by watching their father and mother love one another. Together with their siblings they come to appreciate the important connection between rights and responsibilities, between personal respect and respect for others.

It is in the family that both parents and children learn that “families who pray together, stay together.” Here the value and importance of Sunday Mass cannot be overlooked. But the family is an academy of prayer in other situations and settings as well — for example, prayers before and after meals, praying the family rosary, and reading the Bible. In all of these contexts, and more, the family grows in its awareness of God’s presence. And such a culture of prayer must also be complemented with a concern for the poor, the sick and those in need. It is so essential that children learn that to be “Catholic” is never to close the door on a brother or sister in need.

I hope we take seriously Pope Francis’ request that we pray for the success of this October’s Extraordinary Synod. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide the Pope and each of the participants of this important gathering.

Read the whole article here.

Join us in prayer for this event happening at the Vatican through October 19.

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 work of this 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.

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