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Year of Faith When is the Year of Faith?

Pope Benedict XVI, in his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, PortaFidei, declared that the universal Church will celebrate the Year of Faith beginning on October 11, 2012 and concluding on November 24, 2013.

it begins on October 11, 2012 because it is: the 50thanniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962, which was also the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. The20th year of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It concludes on November 24, 2013 because this is the Solemnity of Christ the King, the last Sunday in the Churchs Liturgical Year.

What is the Year of Faith? It is a year set aside by the Pope for the whole universal Church to help Christian communities and individuals deepen their appreciation, knowledge, embodiment and witness of the Christian faith. The Pope hopes that the Year of Faith will lead to a rediscovery of the joy of believing and a rekindling of enthusiasm in communicating the faith.
What is Faith? To understand what Faith is, we need to distinguish between Faith as

Content (fides quae) and Faith as Act (fides qua)

a. Faith as Content (Fides quae) - This refers to the actual content of faith, i.e. what is actually believed. It points to everything that God has himself revealed in the history of salvation. We call the content of Faith as the Christian Divine Revelation. b. Faith as Act (Fides qua) This refers to the TOTAL ENGAGEMENT OF THE PERSON. In the act of faith, he responds with his total self to God. The response involves the totality of his person.




FAITH AS BELIEVING. Accepts/believes as true what God has revealed; accepts/believes God as True. Faith is man's response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, at the same time bringing man a superabundant light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life (CCC, 26).




FAITH AS ENTRUSTING. Entrusting oneself to God. The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for (CCC, 27; also GS 191).




FAITH AS OBEDIENCE. Committing to, doing the will of God, living in accord with the truth of what one believes, living out in concrete and in all aspects and levels onescommitment to God. To obey in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself (CCC, 144).

Faith is a FREE ACT of a human person. It is a free decision to:

Accept God and what he has revealed as true (Faith as Belief) Entrust himself to God (Faith as Entrusting) Commit himself to God and what he has revealed (Faith as Obedience)


How do we celebrate the Year of Faith?

to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist, which isthe summit towards which the activity of the Church is directed; ... and also the source from which all its power flows.
At the same time, we make it our prayer that believers witness of life may grow in credibility. To rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed, and to reflect on the act of faith, is a task that every believer must make his own especially in the course of this Year.

II New Evangelization
1. Why NEW?

Initially introduced by Blessed John Paul II, he said of New Evangelization as a commitment not of re-evangelization,but rather of a new evangelization; new in its ardour, methods and expression. it is the courage to forge new paths in responding to the changing circumstances and conditions facing the Church in her call to proclaim and live the Gospel today (Lineamenta, XIII Ordinary Synod of Bishops, 5).

2. The Situation: Social/Cultural Changes [These changes] permitted the development of human culture and increased knowledge in many fields. These changes have also caused many to take a critical look at values and some fundamental aspects of daily life which deeply affect people's faith

This leads to the loss of the sense of the sacred, i.e., secularization(Instrumentum Laboris, 43)

- The effects of such a negative environment on experiencing the faith and on the various forms of ecclesial life are generally described in the same manner in all the responses, namely: -a weakening of faith in Christian communities, -a diminished regard for the authority of the magisterium, -an individualistic approach to belonging to the Church, -a decline in religious practice and -a disengagement in transmitting the faith to new generations.

(Instrumentum Laboris, 48)

3. The New Methods

The duty of the new evangelization compels the Church to examine the way Christian communities both live and bear witness to the faith today (IL, 51). New sectors discerned: Cultural sector - as the place where secularizing trends are taking place at a rapid pace. Secularization is the result of certain social and philosophical happenings and movements, which have had a profound effect on its history and identity.

Social sector - which is closely linked to the phenomenon of the great migration, which is causing an increasing number of people to leave their country of origin to live in urban settings, resulting in a meeting and mixing of cultures and contributing to the erosion of basic reference points to life,values and the very bonds through which people build their Identity and come to know the meaning of life.

Economic sector: - clear and decisive increase in the separation between the rich and the poor; thus New Evangelizers are all the more invited to live the evangelical ideal of poverty.

E-Media. - Provide great opportunities today and, at the same time, represent a major challenge for the Church. [We] need to take advantage of this newly created social space and introduce the vocabulary and forms of the Christian tradition.

New Ardour and Expression

To profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope; To intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist; To be its witness that one may grow in credibility; To rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed, and To reflect on the act of faith This is a task that every believer must make his own (Porta Fidei, 9).

Main dimensions for New Evangelization: a. Education. It recognizes the needs to promote everything that is true, good and beautiful that is a part of the human person, that is to say, to educate the mind and the emotions to appreciate reality. b. Catechism. The catechists are essential ministers in the mission of the Church. They must be formed to be well prepared evangelizers. c. The Poor and the Sick. They are both recipients and actors in the New Evangelization.

d. The Liturgy and Sacraments.

The worthy celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, Gods most treasured gift to us, is the source of the highest expression of our life in Christ (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10). It is, therefore, the primary and most powerful expression of the new evangelization (Prop., 35). The Eucharist must be the source and summit of the New Evangelization Full, active and conscious participation in the liturgy on the part of the whole community is the goal. The liturgical year with its feasts should be followed by a true program of evangelization, especially at Christmas and Easter. (Prop.,34)


Who are the Agents of the New Evangelization?

The particular church - led by the bishop, who is helped by priests and deacons, with the collaboration of consecrated persons and the laity, is the subject of the New Evangelization. The call to holiness, directed to all the baptized invites all to live as disciples (cf Jn 13:34-35).

The Parish
- Each particular Church is the primary community of the Churchs mission. It must animate and lead a renewed pastoral activity able to integrate the variety of charisms, ministries, states of life and resources. The parish is the focal point in animating these activities.

The laity
- cooperates in the Churchs work of evangelization, as witnesses and at the same time as living instruments they share in her saving mission (cf. Ad gentes, 41).

the Christian family

Established by the sacrament of matrimony, as the domestic Church is the locus and first agent in the giving of life and love, the transmission of faith and the formation of the human person according to the values of the gospel. The Ordained Ministers as authentic and credible witnesses who live and model the faith and the New Evangelization. The Consecrated men and women should live their identity as consecrated persons radically and with joy. The witness of a life which manifests the primacy of God and which, by means of the common life

the youth In the New Evangelization, are not only the future but also the present (and gift) in the Church. They are not only the recipients but also agents of evangelization, especially with their peers. Conclusion: The Church calls for the continued engagement in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue; to be open to the discoveries of science, to the non-believers and the stewardship of creation. Faith cannot be transmitted in a life which is not modelled after the Gospel or a life which does not find its meaning, truth and future based on the Gospel. We call on Mary, the Star of the New Evangelization that she will help us proclaim the message of salvation to all men and women.