October 10, 2012 - Archdiocese Of Boston Celebrates Opening Of The Year Of Faith*


Braintree, MA – On Thursday, October 11, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI will officially open the Year of Faith during Mass in Saint Peter’s Square.  This day also marks the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council by Blessed John XXIII and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 

On October 11th, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley will celebrate Mass at 12 noon in the Bethany Chapel at the Pastoral Center.  The Mass will be streamed live on BostonCatholicLive.com and 1060AM WQOM. CatholicTV and CatholicTV.com will rebroadcast later that evening.

The upcoming Year of Faith is first an opportunity for every Catholic to deepen their relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and to encounter him in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist.  Secondly, Catholics are asked to deepen their knowledge of the content of our Catholic faith, primarily through study and reflection on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism.

The Year of Faith is an initiative of Pope Benedict XVI intended to counter the growing secularism in Western society, which can make it difficult for believers of any faith to live it.  Catholics, after deepening one’s trust and faith in the person of Jesus Christ and learning more about the Truth of our faith, are then called to be active members in the New Evangelization, which focuses particularly on outreach to those who have been baptized and recently been inactive participants in our Catholic family.  In his June 2011 Pastoral Letter to the faithful, A New Pentecost: Inviting All To Follow Jesus, Cardinal Seán wrote, “Evangelization must be the first focus of our Church.  Then, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, which result from living and sharing the Gospel, will transform the culture around us.  We have the mission “to repair the world,” what the Jews call Tikkun olam.  Evangelization includes working for justice and caring for the material needs of others.”

This past January, Cardinal Seán announced the appointment of Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy, S.T.L., Ph.D., to serve in the new role of Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization of the Archdiocese of Boston.  

Bishop Kennedy, in informing the priests about the work of the office, wrote, “The New Evangelization has its roots in what Pope Benedict names the “classical” evangelization, namely, the Great Commission of Christ for His Church: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28: 19-20). While the “classical” evangelization sought converts in missionary lands, the “new” evangelization seeks them closer to home among those who have drifted away from the faith into which they were baptized or because of dominance of cultural secularization they may never have had any encounter with the Living God.”

In announcing the Year of Faith across the Archdiocese, the Cardinal noted that, “As members of the Catholic community, we are called to a continuing conversion which draws us more deeply into the Heart of Christ, where we find the graces needed for experiencing the fullest meaning of our lives.”  Cardinal Seán’s episcopal motto is “Quodcumque dixerit facite” or “Do whatever He tells you,” which is taken from the words of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, at the wedding feast at Cana. 

The Year of Faith starts on October 11, 2012 and concludes on November 24, 2013.  It is intended to strengthen the faith of Catholics and draw the world to faith by their example. The Year of Faith is meant to reflect one of the themes of Pope Benedict’s pontificate, the New Evangelization.  For more information please visit www.yearoffaithboston.org.

About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of 1.8 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 288 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 42,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach.   Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit  www.BostonCatholic.org.