Pope urges family prayers for synod

Prayers will be ‘a precious treasure’ – Pontiff

Pope Francis has issued a letter to families, calling on them to pray for the success of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops.

In the letter, issued on February 25, the Pontiff assures families that such prayers will be “a precious treasure” as prelates gather in Rome in October for an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the topic of pastoral challenges to the family.

“This Synodal Assembly is dedicated in a special way to you, to your vocation and mission in the Church and in society,” the Pope writes, “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. I ask you, therefore, to pray intensely to the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may illumine the Synodal Fathers and guide them in their important task.

“Dear families, your prayer for the Synod of Bishops will be a precious treasure which enriches the Church.”

The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held in the Vatican from October 5-19, 2014.

Meanwhile, in preparation for the October gathering the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops has revealed that the response to the questionnaire on the family has been very high around the world. A statement from the council following its February 24 meeting in Rome said:  “The draft synthesis of the answers received…enables the voice of the Church to be heard in all her components and in a variety of contexts and situations, both with regard to the urgency of proclaiming the Gospel of the family with renewed zeal, and in relation to the challenges and difficulties connected with family life and the crises it may face.”