Category: Year of Faith 2012-2013

mark coleridgeArchbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has issued a very stirring “call to arms” in the form a pastoral letter, to mark the conclusions of the Year of Grace called by the Australian Bishops, and the international Year of Faith called by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI.

The letter is a signal of the Archbishop’s pastoral direction for the years ahead, which will begin with a series of seminars around the Archdiocese that he himself will lead, followed by more practical workshops.

If you are in the Archdiocese of Brisbane you may well hear this letter this weekend at Mass.  You can find it at the link below for your further reflection.

Pastoral Letter Through Doors Wide Open 28 8 13

Link to the Archdiocesan website here.

homeschool mass july 2013One of the ‘hats’ I wear – with the Archbishop’s blessing – is to provide some chaplaincy support to homeschooling families.  We will be having monthly Masses commencing in July 2013.

Our first Mass together will be on Saturday 13th July 2013, at 9am at Immaculate Conception Church, Halle Street, Everton Park.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available after Mass.

All are welcome.

PDF of the flyer for the July 2013 Mass: Homeschool FamiliesMassJuly 13

DATE CLAIMER: We are also planning a “Pilgrimage to the Cathedral” in order to obtain the plenary indulgence for the Year of Faith, which will include Mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral on Saturday 7th September 2013 at 9am.

I just came across the following “Prayer for the Year of Faith” in something I was reading, and thought I’d share it.  The authorship was unacknowledged.


Eternal God, everlasting Father,

we lift to you adoring love and praise

for the gift of faith

by which we open ourselves

to the fiery Love of your Spirit,

poured out through the pierced Heart

of your Son, Jesus Christ.

Stip up that faith anew in us,

O Father!

Deepen our trust,

illumine our minds,

enkindle our hearts

and make us worthy servants

of the reconciliation

Christ won for us,

that we may come to know

the peace of the Kingdom

where you live forever and ever.


— Faith and Life, Archdiocese of Brisbane, Perspectives, 21:8 (September 2012), p. 9

Homily for Mass – Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa

Saturday, 20 October 2012 – 4.15pm

[Readings: Is 53:10-11; Ps 33; Heb 4:14-16; Mk 10:35-45]

Today on the third Sunday of October we are celebrating World Mission Day.  Today is a reminder to every community and to every individual in the Church that we all have “the duty and right to work so that the divine message of salvation more and more reaches all people in every age and in every land” (CIC83, c. 211).

We could say, too, that the Church has a missionary vocation, which we all share in.  Our faith is something that helps each of us personally.  But because of what our faith does for us, we want to share that wonderful gift with others.  This is what we call “evangelization.”

You might have seen reports that the Synod of Bishops is currently meeting with the Holy Father in Rome.  The theme that they are discussing is what is called the “new evangelization.”  In a nutshell: how can Christian people live the faith today in such a way that it has a new appeal for the people of our times?  How can we propose the Gospel message in our world today so that people might truly hear and accept that message and want to become part of the work of advancing God’s kingdom?

We believe that the “Kingdom [of God] is already present in the world as a force of love, freedom, solidarity and respect for the dignity of every person” [Benedict XVI, Angelus, 18 October 2009] and we want to join in the work of proclaiming that Kingdom.  And wherever love, freedom, solidarity and respect for human dignity are lacking or are threatened, we feel impelled to be present there and to help God’s kingdom win over.

On this World Mission Day we can give thanks to God for the many ways that Christian people are at work, responding in service to so many human situations that cry out for “God’s kingdom to come.”  We think of missionaries who go to other countries to carry out this work – often in desparate situations of human need and poverty – but it is obviously something that all of us can share – in different ways – here at home as well.  We don’t have to leave the country to find circumstances that cry out for God’s kingdom to come.

The Gospel today is most appropriate for giving us the “tone” of our Christian witness and evangelization.  It’s not to be one of earthly power and glory, but one of service.  We evangelize – we share our faith and the love, power and mercy of God – not by grandiose displays according to worldly standards – but by service to others … by “rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty.”

We take for our example Jesus himself, who even though he was the Son of God from eternity, lowered himself and shared our human weakness, going so far – as our second reading today proclaims – to even allow himself to suffer the temptations and tests that we ourselves suffer.

Christian service, while it ultimately leads to God’s glory and our sharing in that glory, is characterized by our sharing in the cross of Jesus.  Jesus served by giving his life and dying on the cross.  And so as we live and share our faith in a spirit of service, we need to remember that it will involve suffering.

We suffer fatigue from the effort of giving ourselves.  We suffer sometimes the ingratitude of those whom we serve.  We suffer from seeing the huge gap between what we can do and what the needs are.  We suffer from being misunderstood by others who misinterpret our service.

We began on October 11 a Year of Faith.  In this 50th anniversary year of the commencement of Vatican II which was a great reminder of the part that all of us play in the Church’s work – and as we contemplate this new call to evangelization – Pope Benedict wants us to celebrate a Year when we allow God to rekindle the faith in our hearts.  It’s meant to be a time when – following the urging of the author of the Letter to the Hebrews – when we “approach [God’s] throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

As we do that tonight in this eucharist, let’s make a resolution to do some things in this Year of Faith so that our faith might grow a bit, and that we might share that faith a little more in our service to others … so that God’s kingdom of love, freedom, solidarity and respect for the dignity of every person may become more of a reality;  and that it might be more clearly evident that Christ is the King of our hearts, the King of heaven and earth.

The Council Fathers neither could nor wished to create a new or different Church. They had neither the authority nor the mandate to do so. It was only in their capacity as bishops that they were now Council Fathers with a vote and decision-making powers, that is to say, on the basis of the Sacrament and in the Church of the Sacrament. For this reason they neither could nor wished to create a different faith or a new Church, but rather to understand these more deeply and hence truly to “renew them”. This is why a hermeneutic of rupture is absurd and is contrary to the spirit and the will of the Council Fathers.

— Pope Benedict XVI, commenting on the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, published in L’Osservatore Romano, 11 October 2012.



Archbishop Terrence Prendergast greeting some of those gathered after Vespers on 11 October 2012

Archbishop Prendergast presided at Vespers in Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, Ottawa, yesterday evening to mark the beginning of the Year of Faith.  There was a good presence of pastors and other parish representatives.  Towards the end of the service, candles were lighted and the faith was professed using the Apostles Creed.

Yesterday, 11 October, was the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.  I was pleased that the Archbishop, in his homily, acknowledged that the aftermath of Vatican II is not without contention.  The Archbishop encouraged us to “see the good” in those who hold different views than us.

How we face this tension is going to be important in the years ahead.  Thanks be to God we have Pope Benedict XVI who is leading the way in helping us to understand how to properly interpret the Conciliar teachings.  We must follow the Pope!

Some more – blurry! – photos from last night can be found here.


Today, during the 40 Days for Life, students of Saint Paul University are covering the times on the vigil roster for praying at the abortion mill at 65 Bank Street Ottawa.  I’m about to head down there for my hour, and I’ll also be taking one of the slots for the proclamation of the scriptures.  During the 40 Days for Life here in Ottawa, the Bible is proclaimed from beginning to end at the abortion mill, as a sign that this is a prayerful campaign asking God to change hearts.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and also the beginning of the Year of Faith for the whole Church.

Through this year, we are invited “to enter more deeply into the spiritual movement which characterised Vatican II, to make it ours and to develop it according to its true meaning. And its true meaning was and remains faith in Christ, the apostolic faith, animated by the inner desire to communicate Christ to individuals and all people, in the Church’s pilgrimage along the pathways of history” (Pope Benedict XVI, Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, 11 October 2012).

The Holy Father also recalled that “11 October 1962 was the Feast of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God.”  He added, “Let us entrust to her the Year of Faith, as I did last week when I went on pilgrimage to Loreto. May the Virgin Mary always shine out as a star along the way of the new evangelisation” (ibid.).

Those in Ottawa are reminded of the Prayer Service tonight in Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica and 7.30pm to mark the beginning of the Year of Faith.

The Year of Faith begins on Thursday 11 October 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

To mark this beginning, here in Ottawa there will be Prayers in Notre Dame Cathedral at 7.30pm on October 11th.

Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa has also issued a pastoral letter for the Year of Faith, which can be viewed here: 2012 09 14 Archbishops Letter for the Year of Faith.

The Holy See has also made known the occasions on which a plenary indulgence may be gained during the Year of Faith.  See here for details.  The list gives some interesting ideas of how we might enter into the Year of Faith.  Fr Finigan at The Hermeneutic of Continuity has some more information on indulgences which readers may find helpful.

The Holy Father has called upon Catholics to take up praying the Rosary with renewed enthusiasm during the Year of Faith which begins October 11.

He said:

… I would like to invite everyone to cherish the Rosary during the forthcoming Year of Faith. With the Rosary, in fact, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, the model of faith, in meditating upon the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel so that it can shape our lives. Therefore, in the wake of my predecessors, and in particular Blessed John Paul II who ten years ago gave us his Apostolic Letter ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’, I invite people to pray the Rosary individually, in the family and in the community, placing themselves in the school of Mary who leads us to Christ, the living centre of our faith”.

— Pope Benedict XVI, before praying the Angelus, Sunday, 7 October 2012.


Today is Pentecost Sunday, and with it begins the Year of Grace which has been called by the Australian bishops.  The brochure that was handed out at Masses in Brisbane this weekend says that the Year of Grace is

A holy time, given by God, to start afresh from Christ;  to contemplate his face and listen to God’s Word, that Jesus may heal our wounds, overcome all our divisions, and make us rich in hope, so that we may show forth his face and speak God’s saving Word to the world in new ways.

The local Brisbane Archdiocesan website for the Year of Grace can be found here.  There is also a Facebook group.

The Year of Grace in Australia will overlap with the Year of Faith, an international Year called for by Pope Benedict beginning in October on the anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, but I don’t think that will matter much as both Years will have a similar goal: renewal of faith in Jesus Christ.

Click here to go to the National Year of Grace Prayer – perhaps you could say it when you make your morning offering, or as part of grace before the evening meal?

In other news … (including the suggestion, or two)

I haven’t had much chance for blogging of late!  I am half-way through my tribunal and chancery practicum, so that keeps me occupied for most of the week.

I did get slightly excited when I saw an announcement in the Archdiocesan Clergy Bulletin announcing that the Archdiocese was going to take up the new social media.  Because I read the notice in a hurry I assumed that meant Facebook.   However, when I read the notice more carefully later, it seems we haven’t gone that far yet.  But, for those of you who use Twitter, who can follow the Archdiocese of Brisbane at  Hopefully the Archdiocese might join the rest of us on Facebook soon!

But it did get me thinking … what would be really excellent, in my humble opinion, is if Archbishop Coleridge took up blogging!   Since he is already showing himself to be a very “hands on” leader, a blog would give all of us direct and constant contact with his thoughts and activities.

The excellent Archbishop of Ottawa, Terrence Prendergast SJ, maintains a very informative blog (The Journey of a Bishop) complete with pictures detailing his many pastoral and other engagements in the Archdiocese of Ottawa, in Canada, and internationally.  I’m not sure how he finds the time to do it, but he is certainly setting a good example of what is possible.