FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ray Delisle
OCTOBER 11, 2012, WORCESTER, MA – Today, October 11, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially opens the Year of Faith during Mass in Saint Peter’s Square. This day also marks the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council by Blessed John XXIII and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
On October 12 at 7:00 pm, Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, will be the principal celebrant of the Solemn Liturgy to officially inaugurate the Year of Faith in the Diocese of Worcester. It will be held at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Chatham and High Streets in Worcester. The public is invited to join with representatives from parishes around the diocese in this liturgical celebration.
In his apostolic letter, Porta Fidei, (Door of Faith) which called for the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict writes, “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.” The Year of Faith is an initiative of Pope Benedict XVI intended to deepen an awareness of the gift of faith and to strengthen the commitment by Catholics to live that faith. Catholics, after deepening their trust and faith in the person of Jesus Christ and developing a richer understanding of our faith, are then called to be active members in the New Evangelization, which focuses particularly on outreach to those who have been baptized and have become inactive participants in the worshipping community.
“The image of a ship which is part of the international symbol is an insightful metaphor for the journey which we begin today,” remarked Bishop McManus. “Let us pray for the courage needed to journey to new depths in a relationship with Jesus Christ and to live the faith which has been freely given to us. To that end, I offer my thanks to the Holy Father on behalf of our entire diocese, in calling for this period of reflection and renewal. As the Holy Father has written in his apostolic letter, “we must rediscover a taste for feeding ourselves on the word of God, faithfully handed down by the Church, and on the bread of life, offered as sustenance for his [Jesus’] disciples.”
In an effort to keep a common focus on this invitation throughout the year, Year of Faith banners will hang in Churches throughout the diocese incorporating the international symbol and various languages reflecting the diverse ethnic communities which celebrate their Catholic faith in Central Massachusetts. Additionally, recognizing that many people are passing through “virtual” doors as they explore their faith on the internet, diocesan resources for personal reflection and parish programs are being made available through a dedicated section of the diocesan website for the Year of Faith, including blogs, videos, links to other national and international resources, and source documents relating to the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Year of Faith starts on October 11, 2012 and concludes on November 24, 2013. It is intended to strengthen the faith of Catholics and draw the world to faith by their example. The Year of Faith is meant to reflect one of the major themes of Pope Benedict’s pontificate, the New Evangelization. For more information please visit www.worcesterdiocese.org.
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