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Year of Faith

  

YEAR OF FAITH 2012
Fr. Sebastian Vazhakala, M.C.

 

 

Dearly beloved brothers and sisters,

The Holy Father pope Benedict XVI has declared a "Year of Faith" starting from 11th October 2012 to 24th November 2013. The last time the "Year of Faith" was observed in the Church was during the pontificate of Pope Paul VI, in the year 1967-1968, to commemorate the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul on the 19th centenary of their supreme act of witness. The purpose of it was that the whole Church could re-appropriate "the exact knowledge of the faith, so as to reinvigorate it, purify it, confirm it, confess it" (Paul VI).

What is expected of us during this year of faith? What have we as Lay Missionaries of Charity to do? How are we going to organize the year of faith?

The bishops of the world, together with the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, have gathered together in Synod to dig deeply into the matter with the help of the Holy Spirit. The theme chosen for the Synod of bishops is: “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”. Let us pray that the Synod Fathers may listen attentively to God in prayer and to the promptings of the Spirit, and also listen to God in one another in their meetings, discussions and deliberations. They are in need of our fervent prayers and generous sacrifices. Let us support them and accompany them very closely, especially by trying to follow them through the media, the Osservatore Romano, for example, the official paper from the Vatican. The synod is held from Sunday 7th to Sunday 28th October 2012.

During the year of faith the two main sources of study could be the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council and the post Councilliar teachings, which are in abundance. The easiest and perhaps the best way to deepen our faith is through the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part one, from numbers 26 to 1065, that deal with the Profession of Faith. It is very rich in content that helps us to know very systematically the basics of our faith. Even just going over the contents can help us to understand how rich and beautiful a way the basic doctrine and the teachings of the Church are presented. It can help us much to appreciate the gift of our faith as a response to God’s revelation.

“The year of faith, which is about to begin, will be a time to rediscover the treasure of the faith which you received at Baptism. You can grow in knowledge and understanding of this treasure by studying the Catechism, so that your faith can be both living and lived. You will then become witnesses to others of the love of Christ. In him all men and women are our brothers and sisters. The universal brotherhood, which he inaugurated on the Cross lights up in a resplendent and challenging way the revolution of love. “Love one another as I have loved you”. This is the legacy of Jesus and the sign of the Christians. This is the true revolution of love!” (Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, Saturday 15th September 2012, Lebanon).

The first part of the Catechism rightly begins with man’s capacity for God, i.e. to know, love and serve God. God created man in his own image to live for and to live with him forever. “Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for “ (CCC: 27).

Our plan for the year.

For making it easier to follow the program, I would like you to take the Contents of the first part of the Catechism and divide them into sections as we have one full year to study. However, if we do not follow it in a very systematic way of study right from the beginning of the year of faith, at the end of the year we will see that we have profited very little.

From the start we must try to grasp the mind of the Church for the “Year of Faith”, which is detailed in the document “Porta Fidei”, especially the one with the introductory note how to make the proper use of the “Year of Faith”. So let us take our time to study it well.

There are two aspects: the individual member of our Movement and the group. Both aspects are very vital. Both areas need planning and effort, prayer and reflection, good will and generosity, genuine brotherly love for each other, so that we can help and enrich one another and others, especially our volunteers and particularly our poor people. We could also organize a symposium.

We may have to set aside a couple of hours a week for individual study of the Catechism. During this year each group will try to have once a week the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In Rome we will have each Saturday of the week dedicated to the study of the Catechism.

The first part of the Catechism from numbers 26 to 1065 are divided into one hundred and one sections in thirty main divisions. Although there are one thousand and thirty-nine numbers, when we exclude all the “in Brief” sections, which are 179 in all, the total numbers to be studied are only 860 in thirteen months. Let us try to start in the third week of October 2012 and end by 20th November 2013 the latest.

I have made a list for our Rome LMC group since we meet every Saturday of the week for the study of the Catechism together as a group. We have fifty-two meetings, excluding Christmas–New Year weeks, Holy Week and Easter Week.

On Saturday the LMC group in Rome will meet at 5.30 p.m. as usual. Other groups are free to choose their own day of the week and their own hour of meeting, if Saturday cannot be a good day for them. Each group can decide with their spiritual Director what day of the week and what hour of the day the group can meet together.

An average of 16 numbers from the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to be covered each week to finish the whole section on faith within the given time. Let us remember that it is almost impossible to do in groups all those numbers. Much can be done individually. Please do not worry too much nor be too anxious about finishing all the numbers if they are too much. Do what you can. Pray much to the Holy Spirit to help you and guide you. Our Brothers in Rome also are following similar a programme.

27 OCTOBER        Nos.     26-43

03 NOVEMBER    Nos.     50-67

10 ONOVEMBER Nos.     74-87

17 NOVEMBER    Nos.     88-108

24 NOVEMBER    Nos.     109-123

01 DECEMBER     Nos.     124-147

15 DECEMBER     Nos.     148-165

22 DECEMBER     Nos.     166-191

05 JANUARY (2013)       Nos.     192-207

12 JANUARY                   Nos.     208-227

19 JANUARY                   Nos.     232-248

26 JANUARY                   Nos.     249-271

02 FEBRUARY                 Nos.     272-292

09 FEBRUARY                 Nos.     293-308

16 FEBRUARY                 Nos.     309-333

23 FEBRUARY                 Nos.     334-349

02 MARCH                       Nos.     355-373

09 MARCH                       Nos.     374-395

16 MARCH                       Nos.     396-412

23 MARCH                       Nos.     422-440

06 APRIL                          Nos.     441-460

13 APRIL                          Nos.     461-478

20 APRIL                          Nos.     484-498

27 APRIL                          Nos.     499-518

04 MAY                            Nos.     519-534

11 MAY                            Nos.     535-550

18 MAY                            Nos.     551-576

25 MAY                            Nos.     577-591

01 JUNE                            Nos.     595-611

08 JUNE                            Nos.     612-635

15 JUNE                            Nos.     638-655

22 JUNE                            Nos.     659-679

06 JULY                            Nos.     683-701

13 JULY                            Nos.     702-716

20 JULY                            Nos.     717-732

27 JULY                            Nos.     733-757

03 AUGUST                      Nos.     758-771

10 AUGUST                      Nos.     772-791

17 AUGUST                      Nos.     792-816

24 AUGUST                      Nos.     817-831

31 AUGUST                      Nos.     832-848

7 SEPTEMBER                  Nos.     849-865

14 SEPTEMBER                Nos.     871-887

21 SEPTEMBER                Nos.     888-903

28 SEPTEMBER                Nos.     904-919

05 OCTOBER                    Nos.     920-933

12 OCTOBER                    Nos.     946-963

19 OCTOBER                    Nos.     964-983

26 OCTOBER                    Nos.     988-1004

02 NOVEMBER                Nos.     1005-1022

09 NOVEMBER                Nos.     1023-1037

16 NOVEMBER                Nos.     1038-1050

 

Love and prayers.  God bless you.

"Holiness is not the luxury of a few. It is everyone's duty: yours and mine."  ~Mother Teresa