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News - Delegates in parishes: an evening of reflection and celebration
From the Vatican to the outskirts of Rome. In the spirit of the Church 'going out' and the way synodal journey, the listening and telling of the families that have gathered in the Capital for the 10th World Meeting of Families moved from the Paul VI Hall to the diocesan prefectures. Fifteen parishes hosted groups of delegates yesterday evening, 24 June, for moments of discussion and conviviality.
About 80 people gathered in the parish of St Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, in Torre Spaccata, eastern suburbs, belonging to the XVI prefecture. Welcomed by parish priest Fr Stefano
Cascio, the delegates coming from France, Spain, Honduras, Mali, but also from various parts of Italy, recounted the bond with the parish they belong to, the help they found in the Church to overcome difficult moments, the reason that brought them to Rome.
The atmosphere was one of celebration. Shortly before the start of the meeting in the church the children played in the garden while some lay people set up tables and chairs for dinner and delegates commented on the work of the Pastoral Theological Congress. Joel, 6 years old, fell asleep in the first pew of the chapel reserved for perpetual adoration. "He is exhausted from the journey but it was he who encouraged us to come to Rome," says his mother Antonella. With her husband Dario and their second child, 4-year-old Alisea, they left Friday morning from Palermo and will stay in Rome until Sunday afternoon. 'Being here is a call,' she continues. she continues With this invitation Pope Francis wants to emphasize that love will save the world. Love is life and life is born and grows in the family'.
Among the various speeches was that of Gloria and Albert from Pamplona. Married for 18 years, they have two children aged 13 and 10. A few years ago the parents of four friends of their oldest daughter separated. separated and this led them to reflect on their relationship. "For the sake of our children we had to strengthen our union," they testified. improve and overcome those rifts that exist in all families. We found a cycle of catechesis of St John Paul II that helped us and other families in the parish". The evening continued with a dinner organized also thanks to the collaboration of some twenty of lay people from the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ parish in Quarticciolo, one of the churches of the XVI prefecture that collaborated for the success of the meeting. "These comparisons are very important,' Egidio says. The first cell of society is the family, which however, is very neglected today. This is an opportunity to make our voice heard".
At St Jeanne Antida Thouret, in the Fonte Meravigliosa district. the parish priest, Fr Davide Lees organized the moment of prayer, presided over by Monsignor Jesús Herrera, bishop of Nuevo Casas Grandes, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, by Monsignor Alfonso Miranda, auxiliary bishop of Monterrey, also in Mexico. Many, in fact, Latin Americans among the approximately 150 delegates present, coming in particular from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Mexico and Cuba. Groups from Poland and Ukraine were also present.
"We are grateful to be here, these meetings enrich us and help us to create harmony within our families and with others," explained Monsignor Herrera in greeting the faithful. "Praying and then having dinner together does not only mean sharing food, but symbolizes the sharing of hearts," added Monsignor Miranda. Precisely about sharing Lees: "Let us put Scripture into practice and share our lives, weaknesses, fears lives, weaknesses, fears, but also ideas, proposals and our paths".
A special welcome was reserved for the Ukrainian families, with the opening song "Shalom" for peace. "The situation is dramatic and the war has devastated everything: lives, homes, economy and even the work we had done for years with the family pastoral," explained Marta Palojtay and Pavle Popovych, from the west of the country. "Being in Rome, however, gives us a breath of oxygen and hope that everything can resume as normal as before, especially what we used to do with couples before and after marriage, because many feel the need tobe helped even after getting married".