Participation in the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 7 - 28, 2012)

Here is a summary of the address by Bishop Javier Echevarría, Prelate of Opus Dei, during the general meeting of the Synod Fathers on October 12, on the topic “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith,” which was published in the Bulletin of the Holy See’s Press Office:

“The people of God would like bishops and priests to be teachers of holiness, precisely because they seek it on a daily basis, through the sacramental life and through their own ministry. They must be men who pray with faith, who passionately love the sacrament of the Eucharist and the sacrament of Confession, and who live them with sincere piety, in order to enrich themselves with grace, and therefore to be bearers of the Good News to other priests and to all the faithful. Employing these methods instituted by Christ to identify oneself with him will enable the faithful, in listening to their pastors, to listen to our Lord; and in seeing them pray, they in turn will be moved to prayer. And when they see that they frequently go to Confession, they too will seek sacramental forgiveness.

“It is also useful to reflect on the example of many saints, such as the Curé of Ars, Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Saint Josemaría Escrivá, and more recently, Blessed John Paul II. As Benedict XVI reminds us, they have left us a living example of love for the sacrament of Penance, and can strengthen our awareness of the duty to be Good Shepherds, who know how to give their life for their sheep. By also encouraging priests to regularly sit in the confessional, many souls will go to be cleansed of their sins, and from this ministry vocations will arise for the seminary and for the religious life, as well as vocations for good fathers and mothers of families.

“It is also important to put care into homilies from the doctrinal point of view and with the ‘gift of tongues.’ For many faithful, the Sunday Mass, with its homily, is the only opportunity to hear Christ’s message. With a commitment that is renewed each day, preaching will be much more effective, above all if it is also addressed to the soul of the one preaching: if one lives what one says and preaches what one lives.”

Romana, n. 55, July-December 2012, p. 262.

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