We pray for the Church; ever faithful to, and courageous in preaching the Gospel, may the Church be a community of solidarity, fraternity and welcome, always living in an atmosphere of synodality.

As is customary at the beginning of every month, Pope Francis has released his prayer intention for the month of October: “A Church that is open to everyone”.

In his video, the Holy Father begins by asking “What does it mean ‘to synod’?”, before answering himself, that it means walking together: syn-od. He explains that in Greek, the word synod means to walk together, and to walk on the same road.

This, continued the Pope, “is what God expects of the Church of the third millennium – that it regain its awareness of being a people on the road and of having to travel together”.

He adds that a Church with this synodal style is one that listens, aware that listening is more than just hearing.

“It means listening to each other in our diversity and opening doors to those outside the Church. It’s not about gathering opinions, nor holding a parliament. The synod isn’t a survey; it’s about listening to the protagonist, the Holy Spirit. It’s about praying. Without prayer, there will be no Synod”, says the Pope.

His two-minute-long video, which shows images of people walking, praying and attending classes together, ends with the Holy Father asking that we “take advantage of this opportunity to be a Church of closeness, which is God’s style –closeness”, as well as asking that we “give thanks to all the people of God who, with their attentive listening, are walking the synodal way”.

Finally, the Pope says, “let us pray that the Church, ever faithful to the Gospel and courageous in preaching it, may live in an increasing atmosphere of synodality and be a community of solidarity, fraternity, and welcome”.

– By Francesca Merlo