With his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, “Porta Fidei” (Door of Faith), Pope Benedict XVI declared that a “Year of Faith” was to begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013. The first day of the Year of Faith was the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and also the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion — to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, we are reminded in a letter from the bishops of the United States; but during this year, Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it, and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.
Here at the Sacred Heart Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor, we are planning to celebrate the Year of Faith in a variety of ways. Perhaps most notably, each month will have a faith “theme,” determined by the Church’s liturgical calendar, the calendar of the year, and/or topics that emerge from the Year of Faith prayer that will be prayed daily before Mass. Each month, also, will also have a Scripture verse connected to it. The changing Scripture verses will be prominently displayed in a model of an open door, which was introduced at Mass on October 11.
Other ways we will be celebrating include pilgrimages to area religious sites, question-and-answer sessions based on the four different sections of the Catechism, a renewed effort to encourage residents to participate in the praying of the Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration, outings and in-house opportunities to watch faith-themed movies, and faith-sharing groups.