Year of Faith: touching the daily life of all believers
|Archbishop Fisichella visited Australia in August 2012 when he was the keynote speaker at PROCLAIM 2012, the first national conference on the New Evangelisation.|
Originally published in Catholic Outlook October 2012
The Year of Faith, called for by Pope Benedict XVI, began on 11 October and will conclude on 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ Universal King.
The XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is being held in the Vatican from 7 to 28 October, where the bishops of the world have gathered to discuss ‘The New Evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith’.
Speaking at the Vatican in June this year, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, gave a presentation on the Year of Faith.
“In his Apostolic Letter Porta fidei Benedict XVI speaks ... of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ,” Archbishop Fisichella said.
“For this reason he called the Year of Faith, which will also coincide with two anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“The Year of Faith aims, above all, to support the faith of believers who, in their daily trials, never cease to entrust their lives to the Lord Jesus, with courage and conviction.
"Their precious testimony, which does not make the news, ... is what enables the Church to present herself to the world today, as she did in the past, supported by the strength of the faith and the enthusiasm of ordinary people.”
Archbishop Fisichella said the Year of Faith falls into a broader context which is characterised by a generalised crisis that also touches the faith.
“The crisis of faith is a dramatic expression of an anthropological crisis which has abandoned man to his own devices. We must overcome the spiritual poverty affecting so many of our contemporaries who do no longer perceive the absence of God from their lives as a void that needs to be filled,” he said.
“The Year of Faith, then, is an opportunity which the Christian community offers to the many people who feel nostalgia for God and who desire to rediscover Him.”
Archbishop Fisichella said the program of events for the Year of Faith “touches the daily life of all believers and the ordinary pastoral care of the Christian community, in order to rediscover that genuine missionary spirit which we need in order to give life to the New Evangelisation”.
In this context, the Archbishop said that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has approved the formula for a special ‘Mass for New Evangelisation’.
This, he said, was a sign that during the Year of Faith “priority will be given to prayer, and especially to the Eucharist as source and summit of all Christian life”.
Meaning of the Year of Faith logo
The Year of Faith logo is composed of a square, bordered field on which a boat, symbolising the Church, is represented as sailing on a graphically minimal representation of waves.
The main mast of the boat is a cross from which sails are displayed in the form of dynamic signs which compose the trigram of Christ (IHS).
The background to the sails is a sun which, associated with the trigram, refers also to the Eucharist.
Year of Faith Key Events
The Opening of the Year of Faith was held in St Peter's Square on 11 October, the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. The solemn Eucharistic celebration was concelebrated by the Synod Fathers, the presidents of the world's episcopal conferences and by the Council Fathers who are still alive.
21 October saw the Canonisation of seven martyrs: Jacques Berthieu, Pedro Calungsod, Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Maria del Carmen (born Maria Salles y Barangueras), Kateri Tekakwitha, Maria Anna Cope and Anna Schaffer.
The key dates for 2013 are:
During the traditional ecumenical celebration at the Roman basilica of St Paul's Outside-the-Walls, participants will pray that, "through their joint profession of the Symbol, Christians ... may not forget the path of unity".
The Holy Father will impart the Sacrament of Confirmation to a group of young people.
Dedicated to expressions of popular piety.
Eve of Pentecost when Catholic movements, both old and new, will gather in St Peter's Square.
On Corpus Christi, the Blessed Sacrament will be adored at the same time all over the world.
Dedicated to the Gospel of Life.
Seminarians and novices from all over the world will conclude their pilgrimage by gathering in St Peter's Square.
Dedicated to catechists on the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Focus on the presence of Mary in the Church.
Closing celebration of the Year of Faith.
The Year of Faith will also include a number of cultural events including an exhibition on St Peter to be held at Castel Sant'Angelo from 7 February 2013 to 1 May 2013 and a concert in St Peter's Square on 22 June 2013.
For more information about the Year of Faith visit: www.annusfidei/va
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Rediscovering Vatican II: Pope inaugurates Year of Faith
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