It is Sunday morning here in Rome, and the Synod on the New Evangelization continues. I have not been able to write a journal entry since Thursday because the pace and responsibilities of this adventure have picked up speed. In the last days, our small groups met in earnest. Then on Friday morning, each of the 12 small-group relators presented to our Holy Father and Synod delegates a 10-minute summary of our deliberations. When I was interviewed yesterday by a reporter from The Tablet in the United Kingdom, I reflected on those 10 minutes. Had I simply written the text on my own on the plane to Rome, it would have been a dramatically different presentation.
Hearing the voices from every corner of the universal Church has expanded my thinking and the prayers from my heart. Thus, I began my presentation with the words: “The New Evangelization begins with prayer – and with simplicity and humility – for the task is not human work but the work of Jesus Christ.” My time of prayer has been more fruitful, and I ask you, the reader, to beseech the Holy Spirit to lead us again to Jesus, and through His power, to announce the good news with the humility and zeal of the first apostles.
Last night was a real work session. For four hours, I worked with the three other English-speaking relators to refine the propositions that had been developed by our small groups throughout Thursday and Friday. Today the work continues with the relators of various language groups meeting to pare down the propositions to the very best ones. This work begins at 10 a.m.
I rose early for holy Mass this morning. Sadly, I will not be able to be present for today’s Mass in which seven saints – including North America’s Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha – will be canonized. There are hundreds and hundreds of pilgrims here from the United States for the Mass. I will miss being with them, but I know that their prayers also will be with the deliberations of the Synod.
Please continue to pray for me, as I do for you, as this third and final week of the Synod begins.