Tag Archives: Year of Faith

Here is Peter!

Pope Francis Praying at the Tomb of St. Peter
Pope Francis Praying at the Tomb of St. Peter

The Year of Faith is going out with a bang!

For on Sunday, the bones of St. Peter will be on display for the veneration of the faithful in St. Peter’s Square for the first time in history. This momentous event will take place during the concluding Mass for the Year of Faith on November 24.

It was in 1950 that Pope Pius XII made the announcement that “the tomb of the prince of the apostles” had been found. For those of you who have visited Rome and toured the Scavi (excavations of Peter’s tomb), you know what an emotional impact that this viewing will have on the faithful. I will always remember the goosebumps I had while traveling on the subterranean ancient Roman floors beneath the Vatican crypt and hearing the guide say: Here is Peter!

Looking down to the tomb of St Peter, over the altar in St. Peter’s

The controversial story of the finding of Peter’s bones is told in a riveting and recently republished book by Fr. James Evangelist Walsh. Whether the bones are truly Peter’s can not be known for certain (though I am convinced), but let us say that the bones were found directly under the altar of St. Peter’s, they are of a robust man 60 or so years of age, the bones were wrapped in purple cloth interwoven with gold-thread (a sign of the  great dignity of the person) and the location of St. Peter’s was built over the awkward location of this tomb. What is known for certain is that pilgrims have venerated this location from the beginnings of the Church.

Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”



The Year of Faith

Our Year of Faith got kicked off with a breathtaking sight as a sizeable group of people gathered together in downtown Libertyville, IL, to say the rosary and entrust the Year of Faith to our Blessed Mother. We had a bishop, local priests, sisters from the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate and the Daughters of the Immaculata, brothers from Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, schoolchildren, grandparents, young and older adults, babies in strollers and what looked like a few curious bystanders.

The hour of prayer concluded with the lift off a giant rosary made of yellow and blue balloons that had processed the mile from Marytown, down Highway 176, to the center of town. In a howling 30 mile per hour wind, it was a miracle the balloons arrived intact!

As the balloons lifted up, the cross snagged on a tree limb and the rosary stayed there, hanging over us but as we concluded the final hymn, it broke free and sailed so high it was soon lost to sight. You couldn’t help but be giddy and tearful and happy!

The Holy See also announced that a plenary indulgence may be obtained as follows:

“During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

“(A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location.

“(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.

“(C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, … in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form.

“(D) On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.

May we partake of all the graces available and may we grow in faith!

One Billion Catholics in Adoration!

The Holy See has unveiled the logo for the Year of Faith which kicks off on October, 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II. What a beautiful image showing the barque of Peter representing the Church as well as the IHS in the sails, the mast as the cross and the sun representing the Eucharist.

The Year of Faith is a beautiful complement to the New Evangelization which calls for all Christians to deepened their relationship with Jesus Christ and to be a witness of that faith with others.

What a beautiful time to rediscover the history of the Catholic Church in America. In October, two of our most illustrious blesseds will be canonized: Kateri Tekakwitha and Marianne Cope. One special event that caught my eye will occur on June, 2, 2012, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, when the Blessed Sacrament will be adored at the same time all over the world. Wow! A billion Catholics adoring Jesus at the same time! If we can muster this strength, we can change the world!

Archbishop Rino Fisichella says, “The crisis of faith is a dramatic expression of an anthropological crisis which has abandoned man to his own devices. We must overcome the spiritual poverty affecting so many of our contemporaries who do no longer perceive the absence of God from their lives as a void that needs to be filled. The Year of Faith, then, is an opportunity which the Christian community offers to the many people who feel nostalgia for God and who desire to rediscover Him.”

The “Year of Faith”

On January 27, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI greeted participants attending a plenary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, whom he thanked for their service to the Church, particularly in view of the forthcoming Year of Faith.

“As we know”, the Holy Father said, “in vast areas of the earth the faith risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel. We are facing a profound crisis of faith, a loss of a religious sense which represents one of the greatest challenges for the Church today. The renewal of faith must, then, be a priority for the entire Church in our time. I hope that the ‘Year of Faith’ may contribute … to restoring God’s presence in this world, and to giving man access to the faith, enabling him to entrust himself to the God Who, in Jesus Christ, loved us to the end”.

May we be the fuel to light the flame of faith in our families, neighbors and the world.

Year of Faith

On January 6th, the Holy See issued a series of pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith, which will begin next October to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The Year of Faith will also coincide with the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization.

This bold initiative of Pope Benedict XVI includes all sectors of the Church. Here is what the Holy See suggested concerning the involvement of consecrated men and women in the forthcoming Year of Faith:

“During this time, members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and of Societies of Apostolic Life are asked to work towards the new evangelization with a renewed union to the Lord Jesus, each according to their proper charism, in fidelity to the Holy Father and to sound doctrine.

“Contemplative communities, during the Year of Faith, should pray specifically for the renewal of the faith among the People of God and for a new impulse for its transmission to the young.

“Associations and ecclesial movements are invited to promote specific initiatives which, through the contribution of their proper charism and in collaboration with their local pastors, will contribute to the wider experience of the Year of Faith. The new communities and ecclesial movements, in a creative and generous way, will be able to find the most appropriate ways in which to offer their witness to the faith in service to the Church.”