PASTORAL LETTER ON THE CLOSING OF THE YEAR OF FAITH

Solemnity of the Christ the King, 24 November 2013

year of faithPASTORAL LETTER ON THE CLOSING OF THE YEAR OF FAITH

                   

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

On the 11 October 2012 Pope Benedict offered Mass for the opening of the Year of Faith. The Year of Faith was to celebrate two great events in the history of the Church. The first was the Second Vatican Council which began in 1963 and the second was the publication of the Catholic Catechism twenty five years ago. Pope Benedict in his homily quoted Blessed Pope John XXIII who had convoked the Vatican Council saying that the principal purpose of the Council was to find ways to explore the doctrine of the Church and present it in a way which responds to the needs of our time. Pope Benedict added "if today the Church proposes a new Year of Faith and a New Evangelization, it is not to honour an anniversary, but because there is more need of it, even more than there was fifty years ago."

During the closing ceremony of the Year of Faith, we are reflecting on our journey of faith in the past year and want to ask ourselves, if I had challenged myself to deepen my faith and develop a habit of being a better mature Christian in my day to day life. Pope Benedict XVI described that mature experience of faith demands four types of activities. We need to know faith to be able to celebrate, we have to continually profess our faith in daily activities and express it in daily prayer. The better we know the truth of the faith the better we can celebrate our union with Jesus in the Eucharist and during our Christians devotions.

The Year of Faith has evoked a response from all of us, and certain fruits have been reaped. Maybe the fruits are not always visible in our lives, but probably they increased our awareness of faith and revived our desire to continually develop the treasure of faith as Jesus said “You did not choose me, no I chose you, and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last ... " (John 15:16)  .

We therefore want to express our thanksgiving for the Year of Faith and to invite all people of the Diocese of De Aar to reflect on their experiences. In the coming months and years we are invited to continue what we have learnt and experienced during the Year of Faith by: reflecting on the Creed, Biblical Prayer, Community and Group Sharing, Social Justice Reflection and other initiatives in the parish communities which we committed ourselves as the fruits of the Year of Faith.

I pray that the Almighty God, by the outpouring of his Grace renewed us, and help us to embrace once again the faith handed on to us by the Apostles and taught by one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. With the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, may our  mission, which Jesus handed on to us to proclaim the Gospel Message and so lead others to God, help us to grow strong in faith, increase in hope and live the Holy Gospel with love.

With my sincere prayer and devotion,

Yours

Bishop Adam Musialek SCJ

   Bishop of De Aar Diocese

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