From 23 to 30 April 2023 the “Eucharistic Week” was held in the community of Prato. This year it was focused each day on the following themes: priesthood on the morning of Thursday the 27th; pastoral workers on the evening of Friday the 28th; vocation on the afternoon of Sunday the 30th. This Week, which began on 23 April with the concelebration for the 50th anniversary of Father Renato Ghisleni’s priestly ordination, was led by religious of the community who provided reflections at the daily Masses on Jesus’ words “I have ardently desired to eat this Passover with you” and also on the Gospel of the Bread of Life (Jn 6), suggested in the liturgical week.
The meetings with the priests of the diocese and the faithful of the parish were animated by Fr Manuel Barbiero. He offered the priests reflections about the Pope's Apostolic Letter "Desiderio desideravi", highlighting five key words of the text: "gift, desire, love, formation, art of celebrating". The priest, who is responsible for presiding over the assembly that celebrates the Eucharist, is the first one experiencing a path of liturgical formation by being guided by the Holy Spirit who is the true protagonist of every liturgical action. It is truly the Spirit who conforms us to Christ and leads us to make our own the words of St. Paul: "It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me". Fr Barbiero offered the faithful of the parish (pastoral workers, parents, members of ecclesial groups) a reflection likewise on "Desiderio desideravi", drawing attention to four key words: "desire, amazement, becoming conformed to Christ, the art of celebrating". Apropos amazement, he referred to Caravaggio's "Supper at Emmaus", contrasting the amazement of the two disciples and the nonchalance of the innkeeper, who looks on the scene as a spectator, without becoming involved. In the discussion that followed, emphasis was placed on the need to appreciate the signs, gestures and words of which the liturgy is rich, to dispel the impression of a static and repetitive celebration that says nothing to life.
On the morning of Sunday 30 April, there was a solemn concelebration presided over by the bishop; while in the afternoon there was the diocesan vocational meeting, at which a good number of people took part, including: consecrated women, parents and young people. Animated by Don Massimo Vacchetti of Bologna with a married couple, the meeting took place almost entirely in our church and drew attention to prayer before the Eucharist, the living sign of the presence and love of the Lord which, in different ways, was central to the life of Don Massimo, a priest for 21 years, and to that of Thomas and Anna Maria, married for 24 years. Their bearing witness preceded the prayer, after which there was opportunity for reflection and dialogue with them. The meeting and the entire week ended with a time of conviviality in the parish hall.
Father Flavio Fumagalli, sss