Pope Benedict XVI has announced a special ‘Year of Faith’ to encourage the faithful to study and live out their faith by becoming more active in acts of charity and love. The observance will begin next year on October 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and end on November 24, 2013, with the celebration of the feast of Christ the King.

In his Oct 16, 2011, homily addressed to the Vatican conference on new evangelization, the pope emphasized that “renewed energy to the mission of the whole church to lead men and women out of the desert they often are in and toward the place of life: friendship with Christ who gives us fullness of life” is needed to effectively combat the trend of Catholics growing lazy in their faith.

“It will be a moment of grace and commitment to an ever fuller conversion to God, to reinforce our faith in him and to proclaim him with joy to the people of our time,” the pope continued. He also said that the ‘Year of Faith’ will focus on Jesus Christ, to proclaim in faith that it is only in Him that our hearts are able to find fulfillment.

The intentions of the “Year of Faith’ are explained more fully in “Porta Fidei” (“The Door of Faith”), an apostolic letter released Oct 17. In that letter Pope Benedict XVI urges the faithful to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church as it is the handbook to help Catholics rediscover the truths of their faith, to have a greater understanding of the Creed, and to expand their acts of charity and love, especially to those who are suffering.

“What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end,” he wrote.

Source: CBCP News Monitor, Vol 15 No 22: Oct 24-Nov 6, 2011, pg A3.

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