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Laity Organize Novena for Synod on Family

monstrance with angelsOne of the most important Synods in our lifetime will be taking place in Rome next October to discuss issues close to the hearts of all – marriage and family – and the faithful are planning to bathe the event in prayer with a nine-month novena of Eucharistic adoration to take place around the world.

The National Catholic Register is reporting on the novena which was organized by Christine McCarthy, author of a book of prayers and meditations for adoration entitled I the Lord Am With You Always, and Catholic writer and journalist Diana Montagna.

The novena is to take place on the first Thursday of each month, for nine consecutive months, beginning on February 5 and concluding on October 1, the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux.

Participants are directed to a dedicated website and Facebook page where they can find special prayers and connect with other participants. They can also use the Twitter handle @Adore4Synod2015 and hashtag #adore4synod to spread the word.

The faithful are already rallying to the call for prayer in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe with Ghana’s Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle announcing that the Eucharistic Adoration Novena will be observed in all the parishes of his archdiocese beginning February 5.

Cardinal Wilfred Napier, one of the four council presidents of the synod, has also endorsed the novena and described the initiative as “one of the best preparations the Church could make for the second session of the synod on the family,” the Register reports.

Some groups or individuals may miss the first day of the novena on Feb. 5, but the organizers say there’s no cause for concern.

“We hope that the number of priests, religious, laity and children who respond to the novena will continue to grow as the synod approaches,” said Montagna, who hails from Pennsylvania and has previously been involved in organizing perpetual adoration.

“The important thing is to participate,” she told the Register. “We, therefore, encourage the faithful throughout the world to put social media at the service of the Lord, to spread the word and to unite in worldwide Eucharistic adoration for the synod on the family. As the saints tell us, Eucharistic adoration is one of the most powerful forms of prayer.”

McCarthy, from Sydney, Australia, is hoping that as many of the faithful as possible will organize a novena.

“I feel that, as laypeople, we have an obligation to pray to ensure marriage and the family are protected at a time when they are constantly under attack,” she told the Register.

Even if they miss the first day, February 5, there’s no cause for concern because they can simply join in the world-wide prayer movement when they are able.

and in doing so, the laity can support our Holy Father who asked the faithful to “accompany this synodal path with prayer until the next synod” during his general audience on December 10.

“May the Lord illuminate us, enable us to move toward the maturity of what we, as a synod, must say to all the Churches,” he said.” Your prayer is very important for this.”

The dates for the novena are as follows:

Feb. 5 (St. Agatha)

March 5 (Second Thursday of Lent)

April 2 (Holy Thursday)*

May 7 (Fifth Thursday of Easter)

June 4 (Corpus Christi)

July 2 (13th Thursday in Ordinary Time)

Aug. 6 (Transfiguration)

Sept. 3 (St. Gregory the Great)

Oct. 1 (St. Thérèse of Lisieux)

* Because this date falls on Holy Thursday, the faithful are asked simply to follow the normal rites of the Church for that day, which includes Eucharistic adoration after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

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