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India’s faithful kick off ‘Pilgrimage of Hope’ to embrace synodal journey

The Udupi diocese in southern Karnataka, India, has launched a “Pilgrimage of Hope” known as the Jubilee ‘Yatra,’ with the goal of fostering a “synodal consciousness” among India’s faithful.

“It is not merely a gathering but a transformative experience designed to unite priests, religious individuals, and lay faithful on a collective path of introspection, revival, and rekindled hope,” said Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo of Udupi during the inauguration of the Jubilee Yātra on October 27 in Udupi.

This pilgrimage is not a physical journey on foot; rather, it is a spiritual voyage that aspires to connect believers across India in their shared pursuit of hope, renewal, reflection, and consciousness, according to the prelate.

The event is organized by the Jubilee 2025 Desk of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) in collaboration with 132 dioceses nationwide.

Father Yesu Karunanidhi, coordinator of Jubilee 2025 and head of the National Facilitating Team of the Ordinary Jubilee 2025, said, “We have planned it in such a way that all 132 dioceses of the Church in India will be visited before the culmination of the Jubilee Celebrations in November 2025.”

One of the primary objectives of the Jubilee Yātra is to disseminate information about the Ordinary Jubilee 2025 and align it with the Synod for a Synodal Church to raise awareness of “synodal-consciousness” as advocated by Pope Francis.

It also aims to introduce the documents of the Second Vatican Council, particularly the Four Constitutions, by highlighting their key themes and making them relevant to the real-life circumstances of the people and to acquaint the Catholic faithful with various forms and methods of prayer.

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All these goals are intended to lead to the realization of the Ordinary Jubilee 2025, transforming the faithful into ‘pilgrims of hope’ in the Church and the world, Father Karunanidhi added.

The Jubilee Yātra in the Udupi diocese saw the participation of around 120 priests and religious, led by the Local Ordinary. The event took place in the new Pastoral Centre, Anugraha.

Following an introductory session on the Synod for a Synodal Church and Jubilee 2025, the participants were introduced to the treasures of the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

“For the first time, I heard about the Documents of the Second Vatican Council, and they are genuinely thought-provoking,” shared Sr. Lincy, one of the participants.

“If we had embraced the teachings of the Second Vatican Council earlier, our Church might have become synodal by now,” a priest, who preferred to remain anonymous, noted during the interaction.

The Church in India officially inaugurates the preparations for Jubilee 2025 on Sunday, November 26, 2023, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

The Jubilee 2025 logo will be unveiled, and the Jubilee Prayer will be recited. The Jubilee 2025 celebrations are closely integrated with the synod on synodality and CCBI strategic planning.

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