Year of Faith 2012-2013: “Annus Fidei”
On 16 October 2011 Pope Benedict XVI announced a Year of Faith. It began on 11 October 2012, the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The beginning of the Year also coincided with the Synod of Bishops held at the Vatican from 7 to 28 October 2012. The Year will end on 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of Christ the King.
To mark World Mission Sunday, on 21 October 2012 the canonisation took place of seven martyrs: Jacques Berthieu, Pedro Calungsod, Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Maria del Carmel (born Maria Salles y Barenqueras), Kateri Tekakwitha, Marianne Cope and Anna Schaffer. A number of religious and cultural events for pilgrims are planned including an exhibition on St. Peter at Sant’Angelo (February- May 2013) and a concert in St. Peter’s Square on 22 June 2013.
The Pope has clarified the meaning and purpose of the Year of Faith in the Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio Data” Porta Fidei at a ceremony in St. Peter’s on 11 October 2011. In paragraph 9 … “We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope”.
In Rome the President of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada, released a number of pastoral recommendations at the level of the universal church and the level of individual dioceses and parishes. They advocate meetings and gatherings, promote pilgrimages to the Holy Land, encourage a deeper devotion to Mary, and ask Catholics to engage closely with the teachings, homilies and addresses of the Holy Father. More specifically the Congregation provided dioceses and parishes with ideas to get the most out of what is sure to be a grace-filled Year.
From the United Nations World Youth Year in 1985*, the Church’s ‘World Youth Day’ began in 1986. Cardinal Levada noted the event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (23-28 July 2013) will offer the opportunity for young Catholic pilgrims “to experience the joy which comes from faith in the Lord Jesus and communion with the Holy Father, in the greater family of the Church”.
News about events during the Year of Faith 2012-2013 is being spread all over the world highlighting the Church’s universality. Following from Vatican II, a cultural and religious manifesto for the Year of Faith is a publication ‘The New Evangelization: Responding to the challenge of indifference’ by Cardinal Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for promoting the New Evangelization. A Vatican II Lecture Series organised by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas will be streamed live for groups that would like to gather, watch and discuss the lectures at parishes or homes. It will also be recorded for download on the Archdiocese website.
The official logo for Year of Faith 2012-2013 is the image of a boat symbolising the Church. The main mast of the vessel is a cross with full-blown sails which compose the trigram of Christ (IHS). In the background is a sun representing the Eucharist. The official hymn is entitled Credo Domine adauge nobis fidem. The website www.annusfidei.va is in various languages, there is a multilingual pastoral guide “Living the Year of Faith” and pilgrims will receive a Byzantine style image of the Christ from the Cathedral of Cefalu in Sicily with the Creed written on the back.
A Faith Scroll is an initiative of the Vatican’s pilgrimage organisation. It will allow pilgrims to Rome to share their thoughts about what faith means to them. It will become a memoir of individual thoughts from around the globe for the Year of Faith 2012-2013.
Ita Marguet, January 2013
Note: Acknowledgement is given to the sources used in preparation of this text. *United Nations International Youth Day is each year on 12 August. The 50th International Eucharistic Congress was held in Dublin (10-17 June) concluding with a Mass celebrated in Croke Park on 17 June 2012.