10/4/12 | 1309 views
A Year to Grow in Faith
When Pope Benedict XVI announced the Year of Faith that’s about to begin, he said it will give renewed energy to the Church in its mission to lead Catholics “out of the desert they are often in” and toward a renewed appreciation of their own faith, a deeper relationship with God and a strengthening of their commitment to joyfully share their faith with others.
Faith grows when it is “lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy,” the pope said at that time. He cautioned Catholics not to “grow lazy in the faith.”
To that, we say, “Amen.”
The 13-month observance that begins Oct. 11 and ends next year on the feast of Christ the King is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council— the monumental symbol of renewal that was called to guide the Church in its relations with the modern world—and with a world Synod of Bishops this month dedicated to the new evangelization.
As such, the Year of Faith is a perfect opportunity for Catholics here in the archdiocese to begin their personal journeys of renewal as they move toward a closer relationship with Christ while energizing the mission of the Church.
The pope urged Catholics to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which is marking the 20th anniversary of its release this year), to seek a deeper understanding of the Creed and to perform acts of charity as a part of their Year of Faith observances.
Those are sound suggestions, and we’ll offer another.
We’d like to see Catholics in the archdiocese participate in the observances in their own parishes and vicariates, encouraging the active expression of faith in their communities and in their own lives and the lives of their neighbors.
Just as the Year of Faith is an opportunity for personal renewal, it is also an opportunity to strengthen and support the archdiocese, where a full schedule of Masses, events and activities designed to appeal to all ages and communities is planned. As outlined in an article on Page 1, the archdiocesan observances will begin with Masses offered by Cardinal Dolan, who is also one of seven U.S. bishops participating in the Oct. 7-28 synod.
A listing of archdiocese activities, updated regularly, is available on the website nyyearoffaith.org and on a Facebook page and Twitter feed established for the purpose.
Pope Benedict announced the Year of Faith one year ago in an apostolic letter “Porta Fidei” (“The Door of Faith”) released during a Vatican conference on the new evangelization—a renewal effort aimed at countries where religion and the Christian life once flourished but which are increasingly challenged by religious indifference and secularism. Begun by Pope John Paul II, the new evangelization was embraced by his successor.
In that regard, Pope Benedict has made the Year of Faith a signature event in moving the effort forward. It’s up to the rest of us to help it flourish and, as the pope said, to proclaim God “with joy to the people of our time.”
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