Pope Benedict XVI has announced a "Year of Faith" to begin on October 11, 2012, and to conclude on November 24, 2013. This special year of prayer is an opportunity for the entire Catholic Church throughout the world to reflect on our commitment to Jesus Christ and His Church. This year also commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th Anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
A "Year of Faith" is a time for prayer and for study. The Pope is encouraging us to deepen the knowledge of our Church and its teachings in this special year. He is recommending a study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or the Compendium to the Catechism, and also a re-study of the Documents of the Second Vatican Council, which gave us the direction of our Church practice today.
There will be special events and lectures during this year in our diocese. I recommend you take advantage of whatever services, study groups or presentations that are made to help you share in this "Year of Faith" in a meaningful way. The Pope speaks of a 'need to rediscover the journey of faith we share, so as to shed a clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of our encounter with Jesus Christ.'
Of course, the best way to participate in a "Year of Faith" is to deepen our prayer life and our link to Jesus through our regular participation at Sunday Mass, through prayer and devotions like the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the Sacrament of Penance, daily prayer in our homes and with our families, and most importantly the reception of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Even a small initiative on our part will prove fruitful for our spiritual life.
May this "Year of Faith" bring to each of us and to our diocese a unique grace, so that in our words and actions, we will draw closer to the Lord Jesus, closer to His Church, and closer to one another.
May Our Lady of Charity, Mother of the Lord, pray for us in our efforts.
+ Fred J. Colli
Bishop of Thunder Bay