By BERN ZOVISTOSKI
The New Vision
The Diocese of Tucson will launch a year-long program of special events to celebrate the “Year of Faith,” beginning on Oct. 14 with a Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson.
The theme selected by the Diocese is “Year of Faith: Awaken, Discover, Inspire” and the logo for the occasion includes a rendition of the bells of San Xavier del Bac Mission, which could be called “the birthplace of our faith in the region,” said Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas.
The Year of Faith, which will be celebrated world-wide, was designated by Pope Benedict XVI to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church issued by Pope John Paul II.
Bishop Kicanas, who was a seminarian at the time of the Vatican II changes, said “people then were talking about the Church’s mission and role in the world. I hope we can recover some of the enthusiasm of that time.”
Despite what he termed “mistakes and excesses” that occurred at that time, the Bishop said people were proud of being part of the Church “and eager to get more involved.”
The Year of Faith, he said, “is a time to recapture that eager spirit as we come to a deeper realization of the great gift of faith given to us so generously by the Lord.”
Bishop Kicanas said:
“‘Awaken’ calls us to enliven the faith we have gratuitously been given; ‘Discover’ invites us to grow in our understanding of what the Church teaches; ‘Inspire’ challenges us to witness our faith in such a way that others are drawn to Christ.”
To realize these goals, he said, Sister Lois J. Paha, O.P., director of the Diocese’s Office of Formation, has led the planning of events and opportunities.
“My hope is that all of our parishes…will explore ways to make this Year of Faith come alive,” Bishop Kicanas said.
A video to inaugurate the Year of Faith has been prepared by the Diocese and parishes have been invited to show it on Oct. 14.
Bishop Kicanas said the Diocese is exploring the possibility of holding a family service day at which all 77 parishes would participate in the same project at the same time.
Also, the Bishop will present two workshops on key Vatican II documents, “Lumen Gentium,” the nature of Church, and “Gaudium et Spes,” the Church’s role in the modern world.
The plans formulated by Sister Lois and her committee include ways to inform people in the faith, improve communication, inspire vocations and increase the sense of stewardship among all in the Diocese.
“Awaken” will focus on celebrating our history of faith, hearing faith journeys of witnesses of faith, and recalling the roots of our faith.
“Discover” will focus on rediscovering the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, renewing the teachings of the faith in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and inviting opportunities for adult faith formation.
“Inspire” will focus on inviting others to encounter Christ, giving witness to our faith in service to others, and deepening our prayer and experience of faith in the community.
Bishop Kicanas, who addresses the Year of Faith in his column on Page 3, summarizes the program’s goals this way:
“I want this year to be a time to pray together and to do works of service together across our Diocese so we might more fully realize how we are brothers and sisters in the faith, part of one family in Christ.”
The year-long celebration concludes on the Feast of Christ the King, Nov. 24, 2013.