ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Diocese of Rockford will join the universal Catholic Church in observing a Year of Faith beginning today, Oct. 11, 2012. Bishop of Rockford David J. Malloy has issued a letter to diocesan Catholics in English and Spanish inviting them to join in the year-long observance.
At certain times in the history of the Church, popes have called upon the faithful to dedicate themselves to deepening their understanding of a particular aspect of the faith.
The upcoming Year of Faith declared by Pope Benedict XVI is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The pope has described this conversion as opening the “door of faith” (see Acts 14:27). The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.
With his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, Porta fidei, Pope Benedict XVI declared that the Year of Faith will begin today on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013.
Today, October 11, the first day of the Year of Faith, is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) and also the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. During the Year of Faith, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.
To begin the year-long observance, Bishop David J. Malloy will kick-off the Rediscovery of Faith series sponsored by St. Rita Catholic Church, 6254 Valley Knoll Drive, Rockford at 7 p.m. with a talk and reflection on the documents of Vatican II. Beginning in Advent this year, Bishop Malloy will host his own lecture series of national speakers for The Year of Faith. That schedule will be made available in the next few weeks at http://www.yearoffaith.rockforddiocese.org.
All 105 parishes of the Rockford Diocese will begin the Year of Faith at Masses this weekend and most will have activities throughout the year to help Catholics deepen their Faith. Details of those events, videos and the Rockford Diocese’s own prayer for the Year of Faith, will all be posted on a special web page dedicated to the Year of Faith included on the Rockford Diocese’s main website at www.rockforddiocese.org.