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It has arrived! Synodal echoes from Rome

October 9, 2023

We have begun the time of the Synod. There has been room for double or triple preparation. The Ecumenical Prayer Vigil was the launching – and I use the word with full awareness – because it filled our hearts with enthusiasm in such a way that it prepared us for the spiritual retreat days that followed.

At the end of almost a week, we can say that it has been a very good choice to start with 3 days of intense prayer, spiritual conversation, and progressive interpersonal knowledge both at the scheduled times of the day and at many other times of sharing at the dining table that has brought us closer physically and spiritually.

As a facilitator, I have participated with my group in the meetings every morning at the UISG following in a virtual way the meditations offered by Sr. Maria Ignazia Angelini OSB, as well as by Timothy Radcliff OP, with spaces of silence that allowed us to delve deeper into what we heard.

In the afternoons, we have accompanied the spiritual conversation groups, and this sharing, alternating moments of silence with active listening, has given us a way to carry forward this Synod with the necessary discernment, another tool of great help, as we know.

On the 4th, as scheduled, we had the opening Eucharist in St. Peter’s Square. It was a great emotion to cross this space in procession in the midst of so many people in reverential silence.

The words of Pope Francis in the homily helped us to situate ourselves in this experience of the Spirit, “not a parley,” as he likes to repeat. Arriving at the Paul VI classroom arranged at round tables with our names at each place by personal tablet was a pleasant surprise.

We spent a long time familiarizing ourselves with the technology since many of us are synods but not digital natives and we need to learn, fortunately, we have a good team of technicians who are attentive to any request.

In the afternoon of the same day. The Pope arrived at the hall before the starting time and we were able to greet him in a spontaneous and very familiar way. After a few moments of shared prayer, we listened to his opening speech and other interventions that gave way to the actual work.

And so we have begun to alternate the work in the language groups with the general assembly. In each of them, there is a person who acts as a secretary and a rapporteur to bring the group’s contribution to the plenary.

There is an atmosphere of joy, communion, and hope in the midst of immense diversity in places of origin, hierarchical levels, ages, and life choices… and one can feel the desire to contribute the best of each of us to collaborate in being and becoming more, with increasing authenticity, a synodal church.

We trust and feel the undeniable strength of the prayers of so many people who accompany us in this “universal adventure”.

María Luisa Berzosa FI