The Catholic Church around the world will this week both commemorate the past with gratitude and look to the future with confidence.
Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council which heralded a greater participation in the Mass, strengthening of ecumenical ties and renewed mission.
The anniversary coincides with beginning of the Church’s Year of Faith, a time in which Pope Benedict calls on Catholics all over the world to open wide the door of faith with renewed hope and enthusiasm.
These two milestones occur as Bishops around the world gather for the Synod on the new evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith.
“It’s a time of renewal for our Church. In a changing and dynamic world we’re called to hold fast to our Catholic faith, to live boldly our values and to share with others the truths which we believe, and the Church to which we belong, says Bishop Pat Dunn, Secretary of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference.
“The Year of Faith is a chance to reflect on what it means to be Catholic in the world today, and what difference it makes in our lives, says Bishop Pat Dunn.
“It is a chance to understand more profoundly the foundations of our Christian faith, and to tell the story of our faith to others, Bishop Dunn says.
“It’s very fitting then that the Year of Faith begins on the anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, it signalled the beginning of significant change in our Church’s history which was also a time of renewal, and increased participation in Church life, Bishop Dunn says.
“Catholics around the country will be taking part in a variety of events and activities throughout this Year of Faith, designed to help deepen their faith and their sense of belonging to the Church, Bishop Dunn says
Visit the official Year of Faith website http://www.annusfidei.va/content/novaevangelizatio/en.html