The Upcoming Year of Faith
The decision of the Holy Father Benedict XVI to convoke a Year of Faith, which will begin on October 11, 2012, is intended “to contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world of today—capable of leading the many people who are seeking it to the ‘door of faith.’” The Roman Pontiff’s decision is a source of joy and a call to our personal responsibility; it offers us a marvelous opportunity to grow in our personal relationship with Christ, and to help many others to draw closer to him.
Following the Roman Pontiff’s indications, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has published a Note with Pastoral Recommendations for the Year of Faith. This document invites all the members of the Church to strive during the coming months to rediscover and “share that which is most dear to us: Christ Jesus, the Redeemer of mankind, Universal King, ‘leader and perfecter of faith’ (Heb 12:2).” In addition, the Note mentions some activities that will be carried out in the whole Church and suggests others that could be promoted by the Bishops’ Conferences, by the dioceses, and in the parishes, associations, movements, etc.
In this regard, the Prelate of Opus Dei has arranged for the celebration of a special opening ceremony—Solemn Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament—in the Prelatic Church of Our Lady of Peace, on Saturday, October 13. Similar ceremonies will take place in the chapels and oratories of numerous centers entrusted to the Prelature throughout the world.
In the formative activities offered by the Prelature, ideas and suggestions will be provided to help each person take full advantage of this ecclesial event. Several months ago, the Prelate disposed that in the time before the beginning of this event, the faithful of the Work should ask “the Holy Spirit to prepare the minds and hearts of all the baptized so that we may live the Year of Faith with greater depth.” Specifically he suggested that, during these months, we frequently “read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium to take advantage of the riches of those texts, and to encourage others to acquire these books.”
Responding to Bishop Echevarría’s request, the faithful and cooperators of the Prelature have organized conferences in preparation for the Year of Faith. In the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, a conference was held entitled “Word and Witness in the Communication of the Faith,” and at the University of Navarra a study day was held on the “New Evangelization.” Similar initiatives have been organized in many countries where the Prelature is now working. These include days of study and meditation, courses, formational seminars, and activities of a spiritual nature especially planned for this Year, which will end on the feast of Christ the King in November 2013.
On the website www.opusdei.org materials for the study and spread of the Faith will be offered, which will have as their point of reference the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Some of these initiatives are mentioned in this issue of Romana. Others will be reported on in the next issue, which covers the second half of 2012. All these activities are just a small contribution in light of the great number of initiatives organized by Catholics throughout the world. In any case, the Year of Faith is meant to help each Catholic, in his or her own life, to follow Christ more closely and to assist those around us to do so. “Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. It makes us fruitful, because it expands our hearts in hope and enables us to bear life-giving witness.”
The faithful of Opus Dei in their personal apostolate will help many people to meditate on those words of St. Josemaría: “Stir up that fire of faith. Christ is not a figure that has passed. He is not a memory that is lost in history. He lives! Iesus Christus heri et hodie, ipse et in saecula, says Saint Paul. ‘Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be forever.’”
 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Note with Pastoral Recommendations for the Year of Faith, January 6, 2012.
 St. Josemaría, The Way, no. 584.
Romana, n. 54, January-June 2012, p. 8-9.