In Rome today, the Holy Father opens an Extraordinary Synod of Bishops which will focus on the pastoral realities of the family. The work of the Synod will extend until October 25. Within the context of the Synod, at a Mass to be celebrated on October 19, Pope Francis will preside at the beatification of Pope Paul VI. We remember that Pope Paul said the “family is the smallest unit of the Church” and often called the family the “domestic church.” Much has changed in the world since the 1960s and 1970s. We pray today, and for the next three weeks, for those who will participate in the work of the Synod:
O God, ruler and guardian of your Church, pour out, we pray, upon your servants a spirit of truth, understanding and peace, so that they may strive with all their heart to know what is pleasing to you and then pursue it with all their strength.
In the past two years we have placed a great deal of time and energy into the creation of the Catholic Neighborhood Associations. As these associations, after a bit of summer break, begin to reform, I want to thank all those who have been facilitators and Austin Doyle who has been our “facilitator of facilitators!” At the present time we have 12 neighborhoods that meet on a monthly basis … Downton Clermont, Minneola, Groveland-Green Valley, Palisades, South Lake Minnehaha, Greater Pines, Summit Greens, Kings Ridge, Legends, Trilogy, Royal Highlands and East of Handcock. Meeting in homes, clubhouses or other facilities, these gatherings also become “neighborhood churches” in which we can support and encourage each other beyond the physical campus of our Church. Many groups meet monthly, share social time and refreshments, and some pray and study together! It has begun some wonderful new friendships and expanded our visions and experience of both church and family! If you would like to become a part of one of these great groupings, please call the office.
I would ask your prayers this week. I anticipate that mid-week I will finally undergo surgery for the removal of my thyroid.
May the week ahead be filled with many blessings!