By Card. Michael Czerny SJ
The retreat (1-3 October) actually began for me the evening before,
during the Prayer Vigil in St Peter’s Square, magnificently orchestrated by the
Taizé Community, when a Ukrainian choir led nearly 18,000 Christians of all
denominations in singing fellow-Montrealer Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluia”.
At a retreat centre built like a village in the Roman countryside, about
300 of us began walking together: hierarchs, clergy, religious, laypeople. The
Benedictine Abbess Ignazia Angelini introduced the Gospel at Lauds and before
Mass, always linking it with the synodal path, and former Master General of the
Dominicans, Timothy Radcliffe, had us meditate on the Transfiguration, in Mark
Caesarea Philippi, the community of disciples, in worse disarray than the
Church today, crashes into crisis. About a week later, Jesus takes three of
them on a brief retreat up Mount Tabor. There they hear the Father’s voice,
“Listen to him!” before embarking on the very first Synod, the walk up to
Jerusalem where Jesus will
suffer, die and rise again.