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This week, the Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops’ Conference met in Columba Centre of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, to discuss the forthcoming universal Synod on Synodality. This will take place in Rome from 4 – 29 October, on the theme: ‘For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission’.

The Bishops reflected that, “The Synodal Process is about conversion, and we pray that all participants will be open in mind and heart to what the Holy Spirit wants of each individually, and collectively. In light of Pope Francis’ comment that ‘without prayer there will be no Synod’, we encourage people of faith to unceasingly pray to God over the coming weeks at daily and weekend Masses, at home, and in religious communities, to intercede for Pope Francis and for all members of the Synodal Assembly.”

The following prayers have been especially composed for the Synod to be sued in parishes across Ireland.


To the Holy Spirit, Creator and Lord of the Church who guides her through time and gently urges her ever onward, we address this supplication:

Come, You who ever makes all things new!

Come, Holy Spirit, soul of the Church: gather into unity and make fruitful the toil, the hope, and the desire of each one involved in the Synod Assembly, we invoke you:

Come, You who ever makes all things new!

Come, gentle Breath of God, who in Jesus revives the dwindling flame, and restore vigor to the bruised reed, we call upon you:

Come, You who ever makes all things new!

Come, Creator Spirit, who restores parched bones, gathers the lost, and brings into dialogue languages that do not recognize each other, we beseech you:

Come, You who ever makes all things new!

Come, burning fire of God, who purifies every vain thought, burning and transforming every sadness into the joy of new birth, we implore you:

Come, Beauty of the lowly and the poor, build up the beautiful bride of the Lamb through the tears of those who love peace and hunger for justice, we invoke you:

Come, You who ever makes all things new!

Come, God’s Forgiveness, and convert us to your breath that reconciles us for a new fellowship, we call upon you:

Come, You who ever makes all things new!

Come, unapproachable Wisdom, and fill us with your synodal gifts, we beseech you:

Come, You who ever makes all things new!

Come, unfailing Hope of the Church, and stir up dreams and desires according to the heart of God which, to the human eye, seems impossible, we implore you:

Come, You who ever makes all things new!


For the 25th and 26th Sundays of Ordinary Time (A) which precede the opening of the Synod Assembly, we propose several intentions for Universal Prayer:

For the Church, on the eve of a new phase in the synodal journey, that the presence of the Gospel, alive and at work in her, may make her like the vineyard in the parable, a vital place where all men and women who seek meaning in their life find a place, a word, and a breath of hope, we pray:

For the bishops and all the participants in the Synodal Assembly, that proposals may spring forth from their listening to the Holy Spirit, so that the entire People of God, in a dynamism of communion, may feel that they are truly participating in the life of the Church and be a living and attractive witness to the newness of the Gospel in the world, we pray:

For theologians: may the gifts of wisdom and revelation accompany their contribution to the work of the Synodal Assembly, so that the gift of faith may become life in all God’s people, we pray:

For young people, seekers of truth and authentic witness, concreteness and spirituality; that, as a result of the synodal journey, they may feel increasingly involved in the Church’s life and mission in the midst of the challenges of today’s world, giving to so many, with the enthusiasm of their age, the hope that springs from an encounter with Jesus, we pray:

For us gathered here in communion with Christian communities throughout the world: that by tasting the goodness of the Lord that comes to each one in the body and blood of Jesus, we may receive from him a fresh view of our neighbor and be made witnesses to generosity in the world in which we live, we pray:



Brothers and sisters, Jesus promised that he would come in the midst of his disciples gathered in his name. In the coming days, in Rome, the Supreme Pontiff Francis will open the first session of the sixteenth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Invoking the Lord’s blessing, we raised our minds to God that, with the favor of the Holy Spirit, he would strengthen us in communion, lead us into all truth and enlighten the participants of the Synodal Assembly without ceasing.

God and our Father

who spoke in many ways and in many ways to the fathers in the prophets

he directs you and the entire Church in fidelity to his word and in the judgment of his will. R. Amen.

The only begotten, sent in the fullness of time

that he might manifest to all the riches of the Father’s mercy

may he keep you in communion with him and his brothers.

R. Amen.

Holy Spirit, you all, and especially the Synodal Assembly,

it leads to knowing the signs of the times

that, adhering to the will of God in all things,

the fruitfulness of the unity brought forth

promoting the life of the Church and testifying to the Gospel.

R. Amen.

And the blessing of God Almighty,

of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,

may it descend upon you and remain forever.

R. Amen.


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