By FRANZ KLEIN
Special to The Texas Catholic
Catholics from throughout the diocese gathered at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe Oct. 14 for a special Mass to inaugurate a year-long effort to deepen and enliven people’s faith.
The Sunday liturgy at the cathedral — presided over by Bishop Kevin J. Farrell and attended by representatives from parishes in the diocese — was the local diocesan event marking the opening of a worldwide Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict XVI and set to run through Nov. 24, 2013.
The Year of Faith officially began with a Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Oct. 11, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The special year, the Holy Father wrote in his Apostolic Letter “Porta Fidei,” will be a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world.”
Conversion was a theme Bishop Farrell emphasized in his homily on Oct. 14 — both the personal conversion of each individual believer and the conversion of a wider culture that has experienced a profound “crisis of faith” in the half century following the Second Vatican Council. The bishop echoed the Holy Father’s suggestion that Catholics spend the year studying their faith — reading the Bible and the catechism — as well as intensifying their charitable actions and examining closely the message contained in the Council documents.
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