Only twice in the last fifty years has the Catholic Church observed a Year of Faith. Both times it was to commemorate a particularly significant anniversary. In 1977-1978 Pope Paul VI led us in a year of anniversary celebrations of the martyrdoms of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, two key figures in Christ’s establishment of his Church who died in 68 A.D. in Rome. For the year 2012-2013 Pope Benedict the XVI began and Pope Francis will complete the remembrance of the beginning the Second Vatican Council fifty years ago on October 11, 1962.
The Year of Faith remembrance must not be thought of as a nostalgic recalling of past events. This remembrance is more like biblical remembrance by which we come to share today in the wonderful works of God witnessed in times past and also in our own. So this year we endeavor to share even more in the work of the Spirit evident at the solemn worldwide gathering of the bishops in the Second Vatican Council 1962-1965 for the renewal of the faith. The Council was convened initially by Pope John the XXIII to let the Holy Spirit work in the whole Church renewing the faith life of the body of Christ. So its goal was to touch every member with a living faith — a faith put into practice with a greater love of God and neighbor, the neighbor with whom we wish to share the faith. Hence faith, a lived faith, is our focus this year.
It is our dearest hope that these web pages will contribute to a faith renewal for you through the outpouring of the same Holy Spirit in our time as we know occurred fifty years ago.