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About eighty parishes will offer hospitality to about three thousand people coming from all over Italy and from different countries around the world

More than 80 parishes and religious communities in the territory of the diocese of Rome have opened their doors to the approximately 3,000 people expected in the Eternal City, from Italy and abroad, to take part in "Together - Gathering of the People of God". The event is organized on the eve of the XVI General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (scheduled from 4 to 29 October), by the Taizé Community in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, the Vicariate of Rome, the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. The participants will come in particular from Poland (470) France (400), Spain (280), Hungary (220), but also from Egypt, Vietnam, Korea, and the United States.

They will all gather in the various reception sites next Friday 29 September; during the evening, prayer vigils in the local communities and moments of gathering and fraternity are planned. On Saturday 30, all the parishes of Rome have been invited to participate in the ecumenical prayer initiative to be held in Saint Peter's Square; it will be presided over by POPE FRANCIS, in the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW, the Archbishop of Canterbury JUSTIN WELBY and many other Church leaders, as well as thousands of Christians of different denominations. The prayer vigil will be an opportunity to entrust the work of the 16th General Assembly of the Synod of the Catholic Church to the Holy Spirit. Again, on Sunday 1 October, Mass will be celebrated with the guests, followed by lunch in the host communities or families.

On Saturday 30 September, in particular, an information point will be set up outside the Basilica of Saint John Lateran from 10.30 to 15.00 pm. From 11.30 to 12.30 a packed lunch and dinner will be distributed behind the Lateran Basilica (entrance from the gate near the obelisk and the baptistery). At 13.00, there will also be a moment of praise in the basilica of Saint John Lateran, after which, at about 14.30, a walk will start from the Cathedral of Rome to the tomb of the Apostle Peter. For the rest of the programme and further information please visit Together2023.net. "The word 'synod'," explain the organizers, "comes from the Greek syn hodos, which means 'to walk with'. The 6 km walk will be a symbol of our commitment together, 'together'. Those who do not feel up to it will of course be able to use public transport”.

Many Roman parish priests have raised awareness among their communities and are in the front line in welcoming the groups. In the parish of Santa Maria in Portico in Campitelli, in the centre of Rome, preparations are being made "first of all with prayer," says parish priest Father DAVIDE CARBONARO, recalling that in his church the Taizé prayer is held every second Sunday of the month. “At this time, the brothers of the Community and the volunteers involved in the organization are praying in a special way so that the gathering is not an event in itself but gives life to a spiritual journey”. "Together" is a "much awaited" event, because it represents "the expression of ecumenism and synodality, which find completeness in this experience in which a synod of the Catholic Church is preceded by a moment of prayer with brothers from other Christian denominations". About 70 pilgrims will arrive at Saint Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, in Torre Spaccata; for them, on Sunday, a community lunch with typical Roman dishes is planned. "The welcome is part of the concept that the Church of Rome presides over in charity, therefore in openness to the other," stresses parish priest Fr. STEFANO CASCIO. "At the beginning we were ready to host the young participants in the parish premises," he continues, "but there was no need because many families opened the doors of their homes for them. This also allows us to experience the synod in a more tangible way”.

Journalists and media workers who wish to participate in the Lauds Prayer at 13.00 at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, and in the ecumenical prayer vigil at 17.00 in Saint Peter’s Square, must apply up to 24 hours before the event, exclusively via the Holy See Press Office online accreditation system, at press.vatican.va/accreditamenti.


Giulia Rocchi, Press Office – Social Communications
of the Vicariate of Rome

tel. +390669886343/150, cell. +393393749085

e-mail stampa@diocesidiroma.it, giulia.rocchi@diocesidiroma.it

25 September 2023