Friday, 17 August 2012

40 Hours? Year of Faith? Jubilee Year? What's it all about?

There does seem to be a lot happening at the moment; both in our own parish and in our diocese, and even in the Catholic Church as a whole.

I'm sure it might be confusing for some people, and as it's not possible to do more than publicise events in the weekly bulletin I thought I'd make an attempt to 'flesh out' some of the events I refer to in the title of this post.

Firstly, the 40 Hours' Devotion.

As the name suggests this is a period of continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the monstrance on the altar for 40 hours.

It is quite an undertaking for a parish the size of ours but we have held the 40 Hours Devotion very successfully not once, but twice in recent years which is very encouraging as it is an indicator of a parish with a healthy spiritual life.

In 2011 we held the 40 Hours Devotion in thanksgiving for the 75th Anniversary of our parish. This year we have planned our 40 Hours Devotion to prepare for the Year of Faith which begins in October 2012. Please see the sidebar of this blog for the dates and times of our 40 Hours Devotion and also the link to the Year of Faith.

I'm delighted that Fr James Bradley has agreed to preside at the opening Mass on Tuesday 4th September.

Fr James is a priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. I know some of you will know a little about the Ordinariate and for some it will be a complete 'unknown'. We are looking forward to hearing a little about the Ordinariate when Fr James comes to see us but meanwhile you may like to have a look at their website to get ahead of the game.

Here is a very helpful explanation of the establishment of the Ordinariate taken from the website:

'In November 2009, Pope Benedict XVI issued the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus' stating, "In recent times the Holy Spirit has moved groups of Anglicans to petition repeatedly and insistently to be received into full Catholic communion individually and corporately. The Apostolic See has responded favourably to such petitions. Indeed, the successor of Peter, mandated by the Lord Jesus to guarantee the unity of the episcopate and to preside over and safeguard the universal communion of all the Churches, could not fail to make available the means necessary to bring this holy desire to realisation."

Thus on 15th January 2011 The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was erected by decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the then Fr Keith Newton was appointed as its first Ordinary. Fr Keith Newton has since been elevated to Monsignor Keith Newton.

I hope my brief introduction has whetted your appetite to learn more and you will come along to our opening Mass on Tuesday 4th September at 7.00pm. All are warmly invited. Bring your friends!

I have gone on rather more than I had intended with my introduction to the Ordinariate. I'm afraid I have let my enthusiasm run away with me.

I will give you a very brief summary of The Year of Faith here and hope to come back to the subject soon in more detail.

Do please follow the link and 'read all about it' as newspaper vendors always used to say. Do they still say that, I wonder?

On Sunday 16th October 2011 Pope Benedict announced a 'Year of Faith' to run from 11th October 2012, the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, to 24th November 2013, The Feast of Christ the King.

In his Apostolic Letter, the Holy Father states, 'We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope.'

To assist us to achieve these aims there will be talks given by a variety of speakers at parish, deanery and diocesan level, small group meetings and a variety of material in the form of booklets, videos and other materials. Do please keep your eyes on our parish noticeboards, website, Facebook etc. for ways that you can become involved in this exciting Year of Faith .

Finally, just a brief word about the Jubilee Year to avoid confusion. This is to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of our own Diocese of Arundel and Brighton which will actually be in 2015.

Leading up to 2015, we shall be looking at some of the major Documents of the Second Vatican Council, beginning with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium).

Once again you can learn more about the Jubilee Year by following the link. There will also be small groups, talks and other ways to become involved.