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Preparatory Commission for General Assembly of Bishops established

Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod appoints seven members of the Preparatory Commission for the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October.

By Michele Raviart

Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary-General of the Synod, has established the Preparatory Commission for the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod appointing seven members, including a sister.

She is Mercedarian Sister Shizue "Filo" Hirota from Tokyo, Japan, a consultant for the Catholic Council for Justice and Peace of the Japanese Catholic Bishops' Conference.

The Preparatory Commission was set up in accordance with Art 10, par. l-2 of the Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio, on the structure of the Synod

The members

The other members of the commission are: Jesuit Father Giacomo Costa, who will serve as coordinator; Archbishop Timothy John Costelloe of Perth, President of the Australian Bishops’ Conference;  Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas; Bishop Lucio A. Muandula of Xai-Xai, Mozambique; Father Dario Vitali, a professor of theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome; and Polish Msgr. Tomasz Trafny, a member of the Synod Secretariat staff, who will serve as Secretary of the Commission. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, General Relator of the upcoming synod, will also participate in the work of the Commission.

Worldwide Marian Prayer

It was also proposed by the Secretariat of the Synod that on Wednesday 31 May, the liturgical memorial of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a worldwide Marian prayer in preparation for the 16th Synod of Bishops be held.

The purpose, a note explains, is to "make the People of God aware of the importance of the Process underway and to urge the faithful to accompany it with prayer" and to place "under Our Lady's specific protection the entire Synodal Process in the Church, especially the work of the General Assembly".

A moment of intense prayer

The invitation was issued by Cardinal Grech and addressed to the heads of the Eastern Churches and to the Presidents of the Bishops' Conferences,  to hold "a moment of intense prayer that will express the beauty of popular religiosity around Marian shrines."

The shrines will be chosen by individual Bishops' Conferences in each country. The prayer should include the participation of the different ecclesial vocations (laity, priests, consecrated life).

Individual parish communities, in agreement with their Diocesan Bishop, are also invited to hold a moment of prayer on that day for the work of the Synod.

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15 March 2023, 17:42