Editor / West Texas Angelus
SAN ANGELO — Catholics in West Texas and around the world are eagerly anticipating the opening of the Year of Faith, a time designated by Pope Benedict XVI to give the faithful an opportunity to “turn towards Jesus Christ, encounter him in the Sacraments and to rediscover their faith and Church.” First announced by the pope last October, the Year of Faith will open on October 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and will conclude on November 24, 2013, the end of the following Church year.
The Year of Faith will provide priests the opportunity to re-fortify the emphasis placed on the diocese’s No. 1 priority: marriage and family life, and the diocese’s No. 1 pastoral priority: protection of all human life, especially the unborn. Additionally, a number of pastoral initiatives and directions set forth in Pope Benedict XVI’s papal statement on the Year of Faith as well as the USCCB’s documents on evangelization will be emphasized by priests and pastoral councils.
“The initiatives provided by the Holy Father that our priests and people will study during the Year of Faith will continue to focus on our diocese’s No. 1 ministry: Marriage and family life, and our diocese’s No. 1 pastoral priority: the protection of all human life, especially the unborn,” said San Angelo Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI.
Catholics in West Texas will celebrate special Masses on October 11, 2012, to mark the opening of the Year of Faith:
San Angelo — Sacred Heart Cathedral, 6:30 p.m., celebrated by Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer.
Midland-Odessa — St. Stephen’s Church, Midland, 7 p.m., celebrated by Msgr. Bernard Gully.
Abilene — St. Vincent Pallotti, 6:30 p.m., celebrated by Msgr. Fred Nawarskas.
“As we go through this important Year of Faith, let us remember to stress constantly that the most important thing is that we open our lives to the light and inspiration of the great Holy Spirit, who is the one to teach us about how to build up our life of faith, and then share this faith with others, and express it in love and service,” said Bishop Pfeifer.
Bishop Pfeifer has also asked the year be observed:
-- by the offering of additional rosaries in local Catholic communities,
-- by placing added emphasis on the ‘Three R’s’: Renew, Revitalize and Rejoice, through education/formation, liturgy, community and service,
-- by offering ongoing formation so that proper in-servicing can be carried out, and
-- emphasizing parental responsibility for on-going formation.
The USCCB has referred to the Year of Faith as a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord.”
"The Year of Faith will be a moment of grace and commitment to an ever fuller conversion to God, to reinforce our faith in him and to proclaim him with joy to the people of our time," the pope said in his homily last year upon announcing the observance.