Ecclesial movements and new communities preparing for the Year of Faith
In announcing the Year of Faith Benedict XVI urged us to rethink and, especially, to relive our faith in a new way, without taking anything for granted. Faith today should be conceived as a challenge, as something that must awaken us from our indolence and rekindle our attention and alertness. An urgent need is being felt to rediscover faith as that “hidden treasure , that “precious pearl” (cf. Mt 13:44-46), for which it is worth giving everything. Rediscovering faith must be a goal for all of us believers. We Christians are also called to rediscover every day the importance of the gift of faith and its beauty. Many of the baptized, in fact, claim that faith is a heavy burden that stands in the way of enjoying life, or believe that the observance of the Commandments does not permit one to be fully free and happy.
It's called Baghdad al Īmān (Baghdad of the faith) and the website (in Arabic) is promoted by the Council of Catholic Bishops in Iraq, led by the Syriac Catholic Bishop Abba Ephrem Yousef, of Baghdad, to promote the Year of Faith. According to “Baghdadhope”, the faithful can find everything about the events on the site's home page: the opening of the Year of Faith will be celebrated on 12 October in the Chaldean Cathedral of St Joseph, while the closing Mass will be celebrated on 22 November 2013 in the Armenian Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Flowers.
The project of the Bishops of England and Wales every first Friday of the month
A brief pause in work and activities to remember Jesus and his love for humanity. A short interlude, even if it is preceded by the ringing or vibration of a cell phone, to reflect on what gives meaning to the many daily tasks. The Bishops of England and Wales are launching a new idea with a view to the Year of Faith, now at hand. It is a proposal which refers to the ancient practice of the first Friday of the month and, making the most of the opportunities provided by the new technologies, is part of the rich panoply of projects that intend to give a marked missionary spirit to the Catholic community on the other side of the Channel, with a view to the new evangelization.
The Pope asks the bishops of mission countries for courage and enthusiasm in the work of evangelization
The “shared and joyful... lively and creative” faith of the young Catholic communities in mission countries is “a sign of hope for the future of the universal Church”. The Pope said this to the recently appointed bishops who are taking part in these days in the formation course sponsored by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Receiving them in audience on Friday morning, 7 September, in the Hall of the Swiss in the papal residence at Castel Gandolfo, the Pope asked them “to spare no efforts or courage for painstaking pastoral work”, with a view to fully mature faith and ever better missionary cooperation among the young communities in the mission countries.
The Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, Archbishop emeritus of Milan, passed away on August 31. He was 85 years old and had for some time been battling Parkinson's disease. Upon hearing the news Benedict XVI recalled this religious figure, a scholar and pastor, in a message of condolence sent to Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan.
Having learnt with sadness the news of the death of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini after his long illness, endured with a serene spirit and confident in abandonment to the will of the Lord, I would like to express to you and to the entire Diocesan community and those close to the late Cardinal my profound share in their sorrow, thinking warmly of our dear brother who generously served the Gospel and the Church. I recall with gratitude his intense and profuse apostolic work as a spiritual son of St Ignatius, an experienced teacher, an authoritative biblical scholar and beloved rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University and of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and then as a diligent and wise Archbishop of the Ambrosian Archdiocese.