Bishop Ricken Offers ‘10 Ways Catholics Can Live The Year Of Faith’

WASHINGTON—To honor the fiftiethanniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, PopeBenedict XVI has announced a Year of Faith, starting October 11 and endingNovember 24, 2013.

WASHINGTON—To honor the fiftiethanniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, PopeBenedict XVI has announced a Year of Faith, starting October 11 and endingNovember 24, 2013. The goal is to strengthen the faith of Catholics and drawthe world to faith by their example.

Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay,Wisconsin, chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of theU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, offers “10 Ways Catholics Can Live theYear of Faith.” Rooted in guidelines from the Vatican’s Congregation for theDoctrine of the Faith, some of these suggestions are already requirements forCatholics; others can be embraced by Catholics at all times and especiallyduring the Year of Faith:
1. Participate in Mass. The Year of Faithis meant to promote the personal encounter with Jesus. This occurs mostimmediately in the Eucharist. Regular Mass attendance strengthens one’s faiththrough the Scriptures, the Creed, other prayers, sacred music, the homily,receiving Communion and being part of a faith community.
2. Go to Confession. Like going to Mass,Catholics find strength and grow deeper in their faith through participation inthe Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Confession urges people to turnback to God, express sorrow for falling short and open their lives to the powerof God’s healing grace. It forgives the injuries of the past and providesstrength for the future.
3. Learn about the lives of the saints. Thesaints are timeless examples of how to live a Christian life, and they provide endlesshope. Not only were they sinners who kept trying to grow closer to God, butthey also exemplify ways a person can serve God: through teaching, missionarywork, charity, prayer and simply striving to please God in the ordinary actionsand decisions of daily life.
4. Read the Bible daily. Scripture offersfirst-hand access to the Word of God and tells the story of human salvation.Catholics can pray the Scriptures (through lectiodivina or other methods) to become more attuned to the Word of God. Eitherway, the Bible is a must for growth in the Year of Faith.
5. Read the documents of Vatican II. TheSecond Vatican Council (1962-65) ushered in a great renewal of the Church. Itimpacted how Mass is celebrated, the role of the laity, how the Church understandsitself and its relationship with other Christians and non-Christians. Tocontinue this renewal, Catholics must understand what the Council taught andhow it enriches the lives of believers.
6. Study the Catechism. Published exactly30 years after the start of the Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church covers the beliefs, moralteachings, prayer and sacraments of the Catholic Church in one volume. It’s aresource for growing in understanding of the faith. Another helpful resource isthe U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA).
7. Volunteer in the parish. The Year ofFaith can’t only be about study and reflection. The solid grounding of theScriptures, the Council and the Catechism must translate into action. The parishis a great place to start, and each person’s gifts help build up the community.People are welcome as ministers of hospitality, liturgical musicians, lectors, catechistsand in other roles in parish life.
8. Help those in need. The Vatican urgesCatholics to donate to charity and volunteer to help the poor during the Yearof Faith. This means to personally encounter Christ in the poor, marginalizedand vulnerable. Helping others brings Catholics face-to-face with Christ andcreates an example for the rest of the world.
9. Invite a friend to Mass. The Year ofFaith may be global in its scope, focusing on a renewal of faith andevangelization for the whole Church, but real change occurs at the local level.A personal invitation can make all the difference to someone who has driftedfrom the faith or feels alienated from the Church. Everyone knows people likethis, so everyone can extend a loving welcome.
10. Incorporate the Beatitudes into daily life.The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) provide a rich blueprint for Christian living.Their wisdom can help all to be more humble, patient, just, transparent,loving, forgiving and free. It’s precisely the example of lived faith needed todraw people to the Church in the year ahead.    
More information on the Year ofFaith is available online: Year of Faith, Vatican, Bishop David Ricken,Second Vatican Council, Vatican II, Catechismof the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, Committee on Evangelization andCatechesis, New Evangelization, Scripture, Bible, charity, Mass,Reconciliation, confession# # # # #MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email