October 11, 2012-November 24, 2013
We offer this web-article as a quick resource guide to help you find the documents and information you need to fully enter into the Year of Faith. This initiative of Pope Benedict XVI calls the entire Church to renew our faith and prepare to share it more effectively with the today’s world. It opens on October 11, 2012 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and as part of the work of the Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, established in 2010 as the newest pontifical council in the Roman Curia.
The Vatican has created an entire website dedicated to the Year of Faith in order to help people to take full advantage of this special invitation to rediscover and deepen our faith in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Savior and Redeemer of the world.
Documents and Resources for the Year for Faith
Porta Fidei (2012) This document announces the Year of Faith and outlines the hopes the Holy Father has for this year.
Pastoral Recommendations for the Year of Faith Part IV in particular is addressed to “All the Faithful” and makes concrete suggestions of ways to celebrate this year and deepen our faith.
The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has particularly recommended us all to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church, itself celebrating 20 years of promulgation (October 11, 1992-October 11, 2012), as well as the documents from the Vatican II Council.
We rejoice with the whole Church at the publication of Lumen Fidei (“Light of Faith”) the first encyclical of Pope Francis. Building on the draft left by Pope Benedict XVI, our Holy Father has given us a beautiful writing on the nature of faith, its ecclesial expression, and its relationship to our work for the common good. During this Year of Faith, let us take a moment to hear this message and reflect upon the great gift of faith and its place in our lives.
“Christian faith, inasmuch as it proclaims the truth of God’s total love and opens us to the power of that love, penetrates to the core of our human experience. Each of us comes to the light because of love, and each of us is called to love in order to remain in the light. Desirous of illumining all reality with the love of God made manifest in Jesus, and seeking to love others with that same love, the first Christians found in the Greek world, with its thirst for truth, an ideal partner in dialogue.” Lumen Fidei, 32.
Highlighted Vatican II Documents to Help You Enter into the Year of Faith
The Second Vatican Council produced 16 documents in all. While each of these documents is important, we have highlighted some of the texts which may be of particular interest to our readers. Often people have only heard about the “spirit” of the Second Vatican Council without ever having actually read the documents themselves. The texts offer us a beautiful share in the vision of holiness and renewal given by the Holy Spirit in this ecumenical council and being renewed in this Year of Faith on the 50th Anniversary.
On the Church: Dogmatic and Pastoral Considerations
- Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, (1964)
- Chapter 4 , “The Universal Call to Holiness”
- Chapter 5, “The Laity”
- Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (1965)
On Liturgy and Sacred Scripture
- Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1963)
- Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, (1965)
Other Resources and Suggested Reading List
The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith (2012), Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod of Bishops for the New Evangelization
The Commentary on the Apostles’ Creed, St. Thomas Aquinas
Faith in St. John of the Cross (1981, Eng. trans.), John Paul II’s dissertation from the Gregorian University, currently out of print unfortunately, but available in Catholic libraries.
Faith, Hope, Love (republ. Eng. trans. 1997) Josef Pieper, a beautiful series of lectures and chapters written across the 1930’s to 1950’s from this great 20th century theologian.