Monday, December 2, 2013

The End of the Year of Faith

We  have come to the end of the Year of Faith. The Catholic Times in its first page article offers an in-depth study of the results, and in the accompanying editorial comments reflects on what was accomplished and not accomplished.

"New fervor, a new way, and a new expression" was the motto with which we began the Year of Faith. The desire was to address the new evangelization with hope for renewal, discovering new aspects of our faith life and making for a stronger Church.  The Year of Faith commemorated the 50th year of the start of the Second Vatican Council. It was also a desire to live the teachings of the council and  to combat  secularism, relativism, materialism, individualism and the like, in order to bring us closer to a new understanding of our role as disciples of Jesus.

Pastoral  messages, seminars, symposiums, the distribution of literature and a variety of programs for renewal were undertaken during the year to change the way we were Church.

The results were less than expected. A 6-month survey showed that 30 percent of our Catholics were not familiar with the Year of Faith, amounting to one out of three Catholics not knowing anything about the Year of Faith.  And, even more shocking,  67 percent did not participate in any of the programs offered during the year, though the opportunities were there to participate. When we realize that the  survey was taken among the more devoted Catholics, the results are clearly disappointing.

One layperson in a leadership position, and very much involved within the Church, said we should not look at the Year of Faith as a one-time event, but continue to live the ideals presented to us during the year. The  article concludes with his recommendation to continue reading the Scriptures, living the faith according to the guidelines set down during the Year of Faith, increasing our participation in community activities and in works of evangelizing, and to continue working for the renewal of ourselves and the Church.

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