(SNR) - On Sunday, Oct. 14, at 3 p.m., the Diocese of Lincoln will launch a local observance of the Year of Faith, which was proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI for the forthcoming year.
Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz, who has been appointed apostolic administrator since his retirement became effective last month, will celebrate Mass and an outdoor Eucharistic Procession for the occasion. All are welcome to attend.
The Holy Father proclaimed the Year of Faith, lasting from October 11, 2012 — the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church — to November 24, 2013, which is Christ the King Sunday.
During the Year of Faith, Catholics are encouraged to study the Catechism and learn more about the documents of Vatican II. Plenary indulgences are available for those who participate in various ways.
"The ‘door of faith’ is always open to us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into His Church," Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, which declared the observance. ‘Door of faith’ is a reference to Acts 14:27, an account of the journey of Saints Paul and Barnabus to share the Faith with non-believers.
The Holy Father wrote that this Year of Faith is a "summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world."
Throughout the year, parishes from all over the diocese are planning special events and catechesis to fulfill the pontiff’s vision for the Year of Faith.
Parish priests will be incorporating the Year of Faith theme into their homilies, parish retreats, weekly Bible studies and other educational programming. Many schools have chosen their yearlong theme to mesh with the Year of Faith.
Plans are also in progress for using the Southern Nebraska Register and the diocesan website (www.dioceseoflincoln.org) to promote and inspire deeper faith in Christ. Additional information is also available at the website for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): www.usccb.org.
The Act of Faith will be the Diocese of Lincoln’s official prayer for the entire year. Holy Cards are being printed for distribution throughout parishes and schools. Parishes are encouraged to pray this Act "within or after Mass" and on other occasions.
Families can incorporate the Act of Faith into their daily family prayers. Parents who want to answer their children’s questions about faith might find it helpful to use The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a simplified question-and-answer form of the Catechism, edited by Bishop Bruskewitz and available at Catholic bookstores or online in its entirety at www.vatican.va.
Pope Benedict XVI concluded his declaration for the Year of Faith with an encouragement to remember how our faith in Christ affects the world:
"What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end," he wrote.