The General Secretariat of the Synod is inviting everyone in the Church to a moment of prayer on May 31, 2023 — the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in support of the upcoming first session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
Each diocese has been asked to designate a place in which this prayer may be made by members of the faithful from throughout the diocese.
Insofar as Wednesday, May 31, is the patronal feast of Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Johnstown, everyone is encouraged to participate in a special parish Mass at Visitation, 1127 McKinley Avenue, that evening at 6:00 p.m.
The Mass will conclude with the Litany of Loreto (Marian Devotional Prayer) and the official Prayer of the Synod.
A reception will follow the Mass in the school hall next to the church.
Confessions will be heard at Visitation prior to the Mass from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Others are encouraged to set aside time for prayer in parishes or at home. It is recommended that recitation of the Rosary, Prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church (Patroness of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown) or the Prayer for the Synod be offered.
A partial indulgence is being granted for all those who participate. To receive the indulgence, the faithful must go to Confession (on that day or as close to that day as possible), receive the Eucharist, and pray a designated devotional prayer of the Church.
PRAYER TO MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH
Mother, help our faith! Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognize his voice and call. Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise. Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith. Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature. Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One. Remind us that those who believe are never alone. Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord! Amen. –Pope Francis (June 29, 2013)
PRAYER FOR THE SYNOD ON SYNODALITY
We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name. With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts; Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it. We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder. Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions. Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right. All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever. Amen. Mary, Mother of the Church, Pray for us.