They include logo, prayer cards, worldwide Eucharistic adoration
VATICAN CITY – With a hymn and a prayer, Italian Archbishop Rino Fisichella presented the Vatican’s initial calendar of events for the Year of Faith, which begins with a Mass on Oct 11 in St Peter’s Square.
Archbishop Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, said the pope has invited as concelebrants bishops and theologians who, like the pontiff, served as members or experts at the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council.
The archbishop said he hoped about 35 “council fathers” would be able to join the presidents of national bishops’ conferences and bishops participating in the world Synod of Bishops in concelebrating the opening Mass.
During a news conference at the Vatican on June 21, Archbishop Fisichella unveiled the sheet music for the official hymn for the Year of Faith, titled Credo, Domine, Adauge Nobis Fidem (I believe, Lord, increase our faith).
He also distributed copies of the official Year of Faith logo and prayer card, which features a mosaic image of Christ from the cathedral in Cefalu, Italy.
The Nicene Creed is printed on the back of the cards, with the idea that the profession of faith would become “a daily prayer, learned by heart, as it was in the first centuries of Christianity”, the archbishop said.
He also announced that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments had just approved prayer texts in Latin and Italian for a special “Mass for New Evangelisation”.
The archbishop’s office is translating the Latin text into English, Spanish and other languages and hopes to have the congregation’s approval of the translations by the time the Year of Faith opens, he said.
The pope called for the special year to strengthen Catholics who attend church, reach out to those who have left but still yearn for God in their lives, offer a response to those who are searching for meaning and help those who think they do not need God, the archbishop said.
Pope Benedict had announced the Year of Faith in Porta Fidei (The Door of Faith), an apostolic letter released on Oct 17, 2011.
“We are not hiding the fact that there is a crisis of faith, but it is only when one becomes completely aware of a crisis that one can find ways to remedy it,” said Archbishop Fisichella.
He said the pope decided it was right to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with a year dedicated to encouraging Catholics to study, profess and demonstrate their faith.
The Vatican has also launched a website (www.annusfidei.va/content/novaevangelizatio/en.html) containing information about the Year of Faith.
Many of the pope’s traditional appointments, like the Jan 25 celebration marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the Feb 2 prayer with Religious, will be incorporated into the Year of Faith.
But other events have been added, including an April 28 celebration during which the pope will confirm a group of young people and meet with others who recently have been or are about to be confirmed in their countries.
On June 2, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ in most countries, the pope will lead adoration of the Eucharist and is asking every cathedral and parish to have an hour of silent contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament at exactly the same hour, Archbishop Fisichella said.
On June 16, Pope Benedict will preside over a celebration of the Church’s witness to the dignity and value of every human life. On July 7, 2013, he will meet with seminarians and Religious-order novices, who will make a pilgrimage to Rome to demonstrate “the joy of their decision to follow the Lord in serving His Church”.
The Year of Faith is scheduled to end on Nov 24, 2013. CNS