In his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011 - Pope Benedict XVI - declared that a "Year of Faith" would begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013. The beginning date was the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) and also the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. During that time period all Catholics have been asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism - in order that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith. This "Year of Faith" is an opportunity for Catholics to deepen their personal relationship with Jesus and encounter Him in the Sacraments - especially the Eucharist - and rediscover the Faith and the Church. After the closing of Vatican II there was a rush by the people to re-encounter their faith as Catholics. Many found a new freedom - as well as confusion - in the rush - many entered a period of loose translation and poor communication - to the extent that today their faith commitments to Jesus are weak and ill informed. Pope Benedict's hope is that in this time Catholics will make a new and firm commitment to Jesus - as Lord and Savior - and learn and understand what the Catholic faith is all about.
When Jesus called each of us to Him - He told us to come as we were. There was nothing special that we had to do - no preparation - no studying - simply accept Him at His word. To trust in Him - to become a disciple. That was His original call - in the continuing call - we were expected to develop a very deep - a very personal - relationship with Him - with His Father - with the Holy Spirit. To be effective disciples - He expected us to learn - about Him - His message - about Holy Scripture - about the foundation of the Church. He expected that we would - over time - become knowledgeable - about all things related to being Christian. As a Catholic - He expects each of us to be well educated - as a Catholic Christian. Many have fallen by the wayside - many have been lured to other beliefs - many have ignored the call to deeper conversion - to deeper understanding. As in all things - Jesus is still here - available - waiting to lead - to accomplish that which has been started. It is not too late - nor too difficult - now is that time - to study - to worship - to pray - to focus - on all things spiritual. Now is the time - in this "Year of Faith" to truly become people of Faith.