Let us all join the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil for the forthcoming Synodal Assembly: “Together.”
“The path to Christian unity and the path of synodal conversion of the Church are linked." Pope Francis
Dear friends of WUCWO,
As many of you will know, an ecumenical prayer vigil will be held on September 30 in St Peter’s Square in Rome to place the members of the Synod and the work of the Assembly in the hands of the Holy Spirit. It will be a historic event presided over by Pope Francis with 12 leaders from other Churches and Christian communities. Together Christians of all denominations will unite in praise, silence and listening to the Word. That is why this initiative has been called "Together".
"Together" will therefore be a prayer vigil open to all the People of God in their diversity. We will be "together" members of the Roman Catholic Church, Protestants, Orthodox, Methodists, Evangelicals...; all united to entrust to the Lord the work of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
As Sister Nathalie Becquart, Under-Secretary of the Synod's Secretariat, told us a few days ago, "No one can embark on the path of synodal conversion alone". The Synod will revolve around this central idea. Moreover, as she affirmed, "prayer is at the heart of the synodal journey".
I copy here textually some words from Together's website which I invite you to visit.
“Through baptism and the Scriptures, are we not sisters and brothers in Christ, united in a communion that is still imperfect but nevertheless real? Is it not Christ who calls us and opens a way for us to go forward with him as fellow travellers, together with those who live on the margins of our societies? On this journey, in a dialogue that reconciles, we want to remember that we need each other, not so that we might be stronger together but as a contribution to peace in the human family. In gratitude for this growing sense of communion, we can find the momentum needed to meet today’s challenges faced with the polarisations that fracture the human family and the cry of the earth. In encounter and mutual listening, let us walk together as the people of God.”
In addition to the ecumenical richness, this vigil will be a special gathering for young people aged between 18 and 35 from across Europe, from all Church backgrounds, invited for the whole weekend, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, to journey together as the people of God. What a blessing!
Prayer vigils will be held in different parts of the world, on or around September 30, as a sign of communion with all those who will be gathered in Rome to pray for the synodal process. On the above website you will be able to find out about many of these initiatives as well as several support documents. Those of us who choose to do so will be able to follow the vigil presided over by the Pope, live via "streaming" and in different languages, through the different Vatican media.
I am sure that for us in WUCWO, who have always promoted ecumenical dialogue and who, at the recent Assembly, decided to give priority, among other things, to working on formation in synodality, this ecumenical vigil will be an unforgettable experience. I invite you to participate, in the way you decide, but all united in prayer with millions of Christians of different denominations around the world, together with whom we will walk the path of synodal conversion.
Let us not forget the cry of our migrant and refugee brothers.
My country, Mexico, is an origin, transit and destination country for migrants who come mainly from Venezuela, Haiti and Central America, trying to reach the United States. Both at the borders and in different places in the interior of the territory, the reception centres are overflowing and thousands of men, women and children are sleeping in the streets, suffering from inclement weather with almost nothing to eat. Human stampedes of migrants desperate to enter migration centres to apply for temporary permits and the longed-for asylum happen frequently.
Just Yesterday, due to the significant increase in the flow of people seeking to reach the northern border and enter the US, 60 trains of the country's largest railway company were stopped indefinitely after the company found out that more than 4,000 migrants were on board the freight cars waiting to move on. In recent days, there have been several cases of injuries or deaths among the group of people who have boarded these trains.
These kinds of images are repeated with increased frequency in various parts of the world, where people are fleeing their homes in desperation, by land or water, risking life and physical integrity.
Let us listen and respond to the call that this sad reality makes to us, women of WUCWO, particularly committed now to "building the future with migrants and refugees". Already in the spirit of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on September 24 and from our specific circumstances, let us begin to implement, with generosity and resourcefulness, concrete actions that can start to make a difference.
WUCWO President General