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Synod 2018: Dream and Vision for the Church closer to the Young

By Our Own Correspondent

Vatican City, 28 October 2018 -- The final day in the Synod Hall on October 27 was dedicated to voting on the final document with the necessary 2/3 majority. Today is the send-off Eucharistic celebration marking the end of Synod 2018. The 60 pages are now in the hands of Pope Francis and another 4500+ bishops around the world as well in the hands of the 500,000+ members of the Salesian Family worldwide. It depends on each one of us to make it fruitful. For the Salesian Cooperators who conclude their Fifth World Congress in Rome on the same day, it is a wonderful sign of communion with the Universal Church.

VBishop Patrick Buzon, SDB (Kabankalan, Philippines) notes:

V"It's been such an extraordinary experience and a singular grace for me. The Lord is truly good. Yesterday, we elected the new council that will take charge of the next Synod. Two of our Salesian Cardinals have been elected: Card. Daniel Sturla (Latin America, Uruguay - Montevideo) and Card. Charles Bo (Asia, Myanmar - Yangoon). Such an honour and so humbling for us Salesians. Today is the last day and we are voting on the final document. The text is truly a masterpiece, so much applauded when it was first read. On Sunday we conclude with Holy Mass at Saint Peters - Vatican. I will go home full of enthusiasm, and hopefully as a renewed and rejuvenated Salesian pastor. Thanks for all your prayers, and God bless!"

VSalesian Sister Lucy Nderi (Kenya, Africa - working with street children) - one of the two FMA Sisters in the Synod - shares:

V"Pope Francis is always at the door of the hall and welcoming the participants... It’s not just about helping young people to discern their vocation. The Church is also trying to discern its vocation in our contemporary world. As a Salesian Sister, it is even more significant for me to be here and discern together with the Church on how to journey, transmit the faith to our young people and help them to discover their vocation in life – a vocation which aligns with the will of God. I am actually impressed by the homely environment here. I did not expect that. I am touched by the simplicity of many bishops, and I think this is by following the example of the Pope who is always by the door. I did not expect that either, that the Pope would be at the door welcoming participants, and during the breaks he is there greeting and encouraging us. His presence is very significant and meaningful."

VFor each one of the 18 Salesians the Synod was an opportunity to discover the precious gift of Don Bosco's way of education as our humble contribution to the Universal Church to journey more closely with young people.

VNow is the time for harvesting the fruits of this rich Pentecost that focuses on the young like Don Bosco following Jesus on the Way to Emmaus. Synod 2018 is over, but our journey with the young goes on with more energy and a clearer vision.


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  • vaclav 2018.10.29 19:11

    Speaking off the cuff at the conclusion of the General Assembly of the Synod, Pope Francis emphasised three main points that, he said,

    “I carry in my heart.”

    The Synod is not a parliament

    First, he reminded those present at the Synod that “the Synod is not a Parliament.” Rather, the Synod is a “protected space” where the Holy Spirit is allowed to work. For this reason, the information about what happened in the Synod was more general, with few specific details released. “Let us not forget this,” the Pope said: “It was the Spirit who worked here.”

    The Synod must work in our hearts

    Pope Francis’ second point related to the final document of the Synod, which was approved on Saturday. However, the Pope said, “the result of the Synod is not a document.” Rather, the Synod must “work in our hearts.” He continued, “the Spirit gives us the document to work in our hearts. We are the recipients of the document, not the people outside.” In order to for the document to work, he said, it is important “to pray with the document, study it, ask for light.”

    Combat the Great Accuser with prayer and penance

    Finally, the Pope said “I think of our Mother, Holy Mother Church.” The final document recognises that the Church is holy, even if we “Her children, are sinners.” Pope Francis said, the “Great Accuser” always takes advantage of our sins; and now, in particular, “he is accusing strongly, and this accusation becomes persecution.” That persecution, he explained, is not only the physical violence we see in some parts of the world, but also accusations designed to smear the Church. Although individual Catholics are dirty, the Church is not – and for this reason, the Pope said, “it is time to defend our Mother; and our Mother is defended against the Great Accuser with prayer and penance.” That, he said, is why he requested the faithful to pray the Rosary, and to pray to Saint Michael throughout the month of October. “It is a difficult moment,” the Pope said, “because the accuser attacks our Mother [the Church] through us, and the Church is not touched. I wanted to say this ‘from the heart’ at the end of the Synod.”

    Pope Francis concluded, “Now, the Holy Spirit gives you this document for all of us, and also for me, to reflect on what He wants to say to us. Thank you very much; thank you, everyone!”

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