Before the sun rose in Rome Oct. 14, 88-year-old Gaspar Romero and his brother, 93-year-old Tiberio Romero were at the head of the line of thousands of people waiting to get into St. Peter’s Square.
During the Oct. 14 at the Vatican — very early morning in El Salvador — Salvadorans gathered in the square outside the cathedral to watch the canonization ceremony of St. Oscar Romero, El Salvador’s first saint.
Pope Francis and many people attending the canonization Mass in St. Peter’s Square were alive when St. Paul VI and St. Oscar Romero were alive, but the new saints’ relics and those of five other people canonized Oct. 14 still were present at the Mass as reminders that the saints were flesh-and-blood people who lived holy lives.
Carrying Pope Paul VI’s pastoral staff and wearing the blood-stained belt of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, Pope Francis formally recognized them, and five others, as saints of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church must be a place of justice and mercy, and its members must be catalysts for change, some young observers said at the Synod of Bishops Oct. 11.
Even on the ninth day of the 25-day-long Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment, two bishops said they already had ideas for things they would want to start in their ministries.
Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth, England, Oct. 11, told the synod, “credibility and authenticity are crucial” and young people want to know what the church is doing to prevent clerical sexual abuse.
With EMS service suspended in some parts of Florida as Hurricane Michael made landfall Oct. 10 in the state’s panhandle area with sustained winds clocked at 155 mph, at least least two dioceses offered prayers for those in the Category 4 storm’s path.
Church leaders and members need to be “spiritual mentors” — like Jesus and the saints — befriending, accompanying and enriching the lives of young people, one U.S. observer told the Synod of Bishops.
In their first formal reports to the entire Synod of Bishops, many of the gathering’s working groups reported that they had discussed the clerical sexual abuse crisis and, especially, its impact on young Catholics.
Despite many positive and joyful moments during the Synod of Bishops on young people, bishops also have set aside the agenda to discuss the serious scandals and unfolding allegations affecting the church, two synod fathers said.