New Evangelization

Published on Aug 22nd, 2012 by Austin Keith | 0

Open the Door of Faith
Pope Benedict XVI Calls for Year of Faith – Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013 

By Erin McGeever

“…They called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith…”  (Acts of the Apostles 14:27)

This quote from Acts of the Apostles teaches us that God opened the door of faith for the early church. God does the same thing for us today, opening the door of faith and inviting us into a deeper relationship with him. The upcoming “Year of Faith” is an opportunity for every Catholic to turn towards Jesus, rediscover him anew in the sacraments (especially the Eucharist) and strengthen their faith.

In his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI declared that a Year of Faith will begin on Oct. 11, 2012 and conclude on Nov. 24, 2013. October 11 is a significant date as it marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council as well as the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The ending date of Nov. 24 is also symbolic as it is the Feast of Christ the King. During the Year of Faith, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.

“The door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace. To enter through the door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime.” These two sentences begin Porta Fidei and set the tone for the intentions the Holy Father had in mind when issuing this apostolic letter. Throughout his time as successor of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI has called for the faithful to have a solid foundation in the Christian faith, to encounter Christ anew in the teachings and practices of the faith.

The upcoming Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). The Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn our attention to developing a deeper and renewed relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Our baptism opened the door to faith and the Year of Faith will call us to rediscover its importance in our lives. In our attempts to truly live out the faith in the world, others will be able to see and be drawn as well to Jesus and the church.

The Diocese of St. Augustine has a full slate of opportunities for growth in the faith that will be available during the Year of Faith.  The diocesan website will feature a special section that will include activities as well as resources. There will be Solemn Vespers (Evening Prayer) at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. to officially kick off the year.

Some things that you can expect for the Year of Faith:

  • Academic study days on the major documents of Vatican II
  • Bishop’s Bowl program for children and youth
  • A pastoral letter by Bishop Estévez
  • A diocesan pilgrimage to historical sites around the diocese
  • An ecumenical event involving the Saint John’s Bible
  • A prayer card focusing on the basic tenets of the faith
  • A welcome home campaign targeting inactive Catholics
  • Resources for children, families and adults
  • Regional study groups on the United States Catechism for Adults offered in six locations in  English and in two locations in Spanish
  • Resources for learning more about the Year of Faith:
To read Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei [click here]

For pastoral considerations for the Year of Faith from the Vatican:
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith 
[click here]

United States Catholic Conference of Bishops website for the Year of Faith [click here] and includes:
Year of Faith Q and A
Video clips related to the Year of Faith
Resources for parishes

 A simple daily prayer
An Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine persons,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins,
and that he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches,
because in revealing them you can neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.