Pastor’s Pen – September 30, 2012 | St. Ann Catholic Church | St. Louis, MO

A year of faith…

This October marks the beginning of the Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict XVI to help Catholics deepen their relationship with God and recommit to the responsibility of sharing their faith with others. The observance begins October 11, 2012, which is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It concludes on November 24, 2013 — which is the Feast of Christ the King.

The year is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world”. In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The pope has described this conversion as opening the “door of faith” (see Acts 14:27). Each baptized Catholic is invited to rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.

Through baptism we are called to be a disciple of Christ and proclaim the Gospel, by living out the everyday moments of our lives with faith, hope and love. This every-day witness is necessary for proclaiming the Gospel to family, friends, neighbors and society. In order to witness to the Gospel, Catholics must be strengthened through celebrating weekly Sunday Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Catholics wishing to deepen their faith during the Year of Faith should start by exploring the Evangelization and Catechesis section of the USCCB website. Numerous catechetical resources, prayers and other resources have been prepared for the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization that can be viewed and downloaded for free. Catholics should also consider studying the documents of Vatican II and the catechism. Another resource is the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, which takes the teachings of the catechism and shares them within a uniquely American context and highlights American Catholic saints and role models. Most importantly, Catholics seeking to deepen their faith should pray daily, study Scripture and celebrate weekly Sunday Mass.

Stay tuned for upcoming St. Ann opportunities to enter more deeply into this Year of Faith…