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Advice from the Vatican

Article by: B Spinks with VIS (Vatican Information Service) Photo: B Spinks

The Vatican issued a “Note” with pastoral recommendations for the imminent Year of Faith on 7 January to address its implementation at all levels of the Church.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared the Note, at the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI, in consultation with other dicasteries of the Holy See, and with the help of the Committee for the Preparation of the Year of Faith.


In his Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei dated 11 October, 2011, Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith, to commence on 11 October 2012 and conclude on 24 November 2013.

These are significant dates: 11 October 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church while 24 November is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Universal King.

The aim of a Year of Faith is for members of the Church to have “A renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith,” the Note states, so that they “will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord, capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the ‘door of faith’.”

The proposals are intended as examples to encourage a ready response to the invitation of the Holy Father to live fully this Year as a special "time of grace," the Note states.

They are not intended to preclude "other initiatives which the Holy Spirit will inspire among Pastors and faithful in various parts of the world".

Re: Note with pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith

The Recommendations in the Note are divided into four groups: (1) on the level of the Universal Church, (2) on the level of the episcopal conferences, (3) at the diocesan level and (4) at the level of parishes, communities, associations and movements with 10 recommendations in each category.

The start of the Year of Faith will be marked with a solemn celebration in Rome in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

This will take place during the XIII General Assembly of the Ordinary Synod of Bishops, convoked by Benedict XVI and dedicated to The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.

Within the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, a Secretariat will be established to coordinate  all the different initiatives promoted by various dicasteries of the Holy See, or other events relevant to the Universal Church, as stated in the Note.
 This Secretariat will open a dedicated website with the goal of making available useful information regarding living out the Year of Faith more effectively, the Note stated.

In the Archdiocese of Perth, a Year of Faith will be celebrated in conjunction with A Year of Grace: starting afresh from Christ.

Archbishop Barry J Hickey has appointed Paddy Buckley to coordinate the implementation of A Year of Faith & Grace in the Archdiocese of Perth. This will commence at Pentecost 2012.