Religious Life

Pope Benedict Calls for a "Year of Faith"

Pope Benedict has called for a 'Year of Faith" from the October 11, 2012 (marking the 50th Anniversary of the opening of The Second Vatican Council) to November 24, 2013.

For definitive descriptions and Vatican plans visit the official Vatican site at Year of Faith.

For the Diocese of Springfield, MA "Year of Faith" page visit Diocese Year of Faith . Also visit the   FACEBOOK Year of Faith

For the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' page visit USCCB

See excerpts from "The National Catholic Register" and the "National Catholic Reporter" below.

From the National Catholic Reporter - Read more: NCR

Excerpted from the June 21, 2012 "The National Catholic Reporter" article by Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service about the press conference offered by the Press Office of the Holy See.

With a hymn and a prayer, Italian Archbishop Rino Fisichella presented the Vatican's initial calendar of events for the Year of Faith, which begins with an Oct. 11 Mass in St. Peter's Square.

Archbishop Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said the pope has invited as concelebrants bishops and theologians who, like the pontiff, served as members or experts at the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council.

The archbishop said he hoped about 35 "council fathers" would be able to join the presidents of national bishops' conferences and bishops participating in the world Synod of Bishops in concelebrating the opening Mass.

During a news conference at the Vatican June 21, Archbishop Fisichella unveiled the sheet music for the official hymn for the Year of Faith, "Credo, Domine, Adauge Nobis Fidem" (I believe, Lord, increase our faith).

"I'll spare you my musical interpretation," he told reporters, smiling.

He also distributed copies of the official Year of Faith logo and prayer card, which features a mosaic image of Christ from the cathedral in Cefalu, Italy. The Nicene Creed is printed on the back of the cards, with the idea that the profession of faith would become "a daily prayer, learned by heart, as it was in the first centuries of Christianity," the archbishop said.

Archbishop Fisichella also announced that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments had just approved prayer texts in Latin and Italian for a special "Mass for New Evangelization." The archbishop's office is translating the Latin text into English, Spanish and other languages and hopes to have the congregation's approval of the translations by the time the Year of Faith opens, he said.

Pope Benedict called the Year of Faith to strengthen Catholics who go to church, reach out to those who have left but still yearn for God in their lives, offer a response to those who are searching for meaning and help those who think they do not need God, he said.

"We are not hiding the fact that there is a crisis of faith, but it is only when one becomes completely aware of a crisis that one can find ways to remedy it," the archbishop said.

He said the pope decided it was right to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with a year dedicated to encouraging Catholics to study, profess and demonstrate their faith.

From "The National Catholic Register" Excerpted from the July 6 article by Edward Pentin, Rome Correspondent:

... the Italian archbishop said the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments had approved “the formula for a special ‘Mass for the New Evangelization,’” which would be a “clear sign” that, during the year, “priority will be given to prayer and especially to the Eucharist, as source and summit of all Christian life.”

Pope Benedict XVI announced the Year of Faith in October 2011 in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei. In it, he said the aim of the year is “to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope.”

He said he also saw it as “a good opportunity to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist,” and to “intensify the witness of charity.”

Archbishop Fisichella said 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, but is precious in the eyes of the Highest, 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,” he said.

The archbishop noted that commemoration falls within “a broader context” of a “crisis of faith,” which 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 no longer perceive the absence of God from their lives as a void that needs to be filled,” he said, adding that the Year of Faith is therefore “an opportunity which the Christian community offers to the many people who feel nostalgia for God and who desire to rediscover him."