Sunday, October 7, 2012

What is your parish planning for the Year of Faith?

Year of Faith: 2012-2013
Cardinal Thomas Collins sent a pastoral letter that should have been given to parishioners last week. His Eminence reminds the faithful that we soon will begin the Year of Faith. The Cardinal talks about the importance of having a pastoral plan and that in early 2013 the Archdiocese of Toronto will publish one. Of course we don't have to wait for the diocesan plan, every parish can develop a pastoral plan of their own. 

Pope Benedict XVI has announced that the Year of Faith will run from Oct. 11, 2012, through to Nov. 24, 2013. To open this special year, a Mass will be celebrated by Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square. Present for the occasion will be bishops and theologians who along with the Pope participated from 1962-65 at the Second Vatican Council that produced sixteen documents. Our plan could begin by simply reading or re-reading one or more these documents.

Here are the planned Church events as reported by Zenit. Parishes can decide how best to adapt these and other appropriate activities in their communities. 

"Many of the Pope's traditional appointments, such as the Jan. 25 celebration marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and Feb. 2 prayer with religious, are incorporated into the Year of Faith.

"Other events have been added such as the Oct. 6 "Courtyard of the Gentiles" meeting in the Umbrian town of Assisi, which is presented as a prologue to the Annus Fidei with an encounter and dialogue between believers and non-believers on the theme of faith.

"The Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme of New Evangelization will also stretch across the opening of the Year of Faith, as the synod runs Oct. 7-28.

"After the official opening of the Year of Faith, a cultural event takes place Oct. 12 at the Church of the Gesù, focused on Dante Alighieri and Faith.

"Other events include:
-- Oct 21: canonization of six martyrs of the faith
-- Oct. 26-30: a World Congress for Catholic teachers
-- Nov. 15-17: international conference for health care workers on the theme “the hospital, a place of evangelization: a human and spiritual mission"
-- Dec. 1: Benedict XVI will celebrate the first Vespers of Advent for the Pontifical Universities, the Seminaries and the Ecclesial Colleges.
-- Dec. 20-May 1: an exhibition of the Year of Faith at Castel Sant’Angelo
-- Dec. 28-Jan. 2: the Taizé community in collaboration with the Vicariate of Rome promotes a European youth meeting
-- Jan through November: inauguration of a major exhibition at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls dedicated to the Basilica itself and Vatican II.
-- Feb. 25-26: international congress dedicated to Saints Cyril and Methodius at the Pontifical Oriental Institute and at the Gregorian University
-- April 4-6: conference for Catholic associations dedicated to education
-- April 13: concert titled “Oh My Son” in Paul VIth Hall
-- Also in April: Day of Seminaries and a Day of Study dedicated to Vatican II documents
-- April 28: Pope will confirm a group of young people and meet with others who recently have been or are about to be confirmed in their home countries.
-- In May, the Pope will make a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter.
-- June 2, feast of Corpus Christi: Benedict XVI will lead the solemn adoration of the Eucharist and is asking every cathedral and parish to have an hour of silent contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament at exactly the same hour.
-- June 16: the Pope will preside over a celebration of the Church's witness to the dignity and value of every human life
-- June 22: concert in St. Peter's Square for the Year of Faith
-- July 7: Benedict XVI will meet with seminarians and novices, who will make a pilgrimage to Rome to demonstrate "the joy of their decision to follow the Lord in serving his Church"
-- July 23-28: World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro
-- Sept. 18-19: a workshop organized by the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Pontifical Universities to examine the value of “the Catholic Church’s Catechism” in the teaching of theology
-- Sept. 29: Day for Catechists celebrated in the presence of Benedict XVI
-- Oct. 13: the Pope will celebrate a Marian Day together with a host of Marian Associations
-- Nov. 24: Year of Faith concludes."

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