Bishops Plan Materials, Events, Social Media Outreach For Year Of Faith
ATLANTA—The U.S. bishops’ promotionof the Year of Faith will include homily helps, a gathering of theologyprofessors and even Facebook posts about the lives of the saints, according toa presentation to the bishops at their Spring General Assembly in Atlanta, June13.
ATLANTA—The U.S. bishops’ promotionof the Year of Faith will include homily helps, a gathering of theologyprofessors and even Facebook posts about the lives of the saints, according toa presentation to the bishops at their Spring General Assembly in Atlanta, June13. The bishops’ efforts are a response to recommendations made by theVatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on how bishops’conferences can help dioceses in their observances of the Year of Faith.
“The central imageof the Year of Faith is the ‘door of faith’ based on Acts of the Apostles,”said Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, chairman of the USCCBCommittee on Evangelization and Catechesis, in his presentation to the bishops.“The ‘door of faith’ is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year we arecalled to open it again, walk though it and rediscover and renew ourrelationship with Christ and his Church.”
Bishop Ricken’spresentation reflected the coordinated efforts of several USCCB committees,including Evangelization and Catechesis, Education, Doctrine, Communications,Divine Worship, Pro-Life Activities, Domestic Justice and Human Development andInternational Justice and Peace.
The Year of Faithis a celebration by the entire Catholic Church, running from October 11—thefiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentiethanniversary of the publication of the Catechismof the Catholic Church— to November 14, 2013, the feast of Christ the King.Pope Benedict XVI announced the Year of Faith to confront secularism and otherchallenges and to encourage Catholics to rediscover the faith and the “joy andenthusiasm of the encounter with Christ.” The Year of Faith focuses on the NewEvangelization. This effort to rekindle the faith of Catholics, whether practicingor not, was a central theme of Pope John Paul II that has been continued andexpanded under Pope Benedict.
The Vaticanrecommends that dioceses make the catechism and the documents of Vatican IIavailable to all Catholics during the Year of Faith. Bishop Ricken said USCCBis launching an online version of the catechism and the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. The new online textswill include interactive features and will be supported by a variety ofweb-based platforms, including tablets and smart phones.
Other onlineresources for the Year of Faith include the expansion of Facebook posts aboutthe lives of saints, an online catechism quiz and a USCCB webpage at: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/year-of-faith/.
BishopRicken highlighted the document “Disciples Called to Witness: The NewEvangelization,” a 2012 document by the USCCB Committee on Evangelization andCatechesis on welcoming returning Catholics, as a helpful resource forrekindling the faith of Catholics. USCCB will also produce catecheticalpamphlets on different aspects of the New Evangelization, homily resources andprayer cards.
Eventsof the Year of Faith include the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization inRome, October 7-28, with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington serving as relator,and a second “Intellectual Tasks of the New Evangelization” conference for newtheologians, tentatively scheduled for September 2013, in Washington.
The Year of Faithwill also be the theme of several standing USCCB-related events including theMarch for Life, Catechetical Sunday, September 16, and the 2013 Catholic SocialMinistry Gathering.
Keywords: Year of Faith, New Evangelization, USCCB, U.S.bishops, June meeting, Spring General Assembly, Atlanta, Bishop David Ricken,Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, social media, Second Vatican Council,Vatican II, Catechism of the Catholic Church
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