Recent Addresses and Pastoral Letters

The Year of Faith - 23 November 2012

Friday 23 November 2012

Dear Friends,

It was my great privilege to concelebrate Mass with the Holy Father in Rome on 11 October 2012, the beginning of the Year of Faith, the 50th Anniversary of the commencement of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th Anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

While reminding us that the door of faith is always open, the Holy Father invited us to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed an even clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. In our times, a renewed effort to know and witness to Jesus Christ in the context of renewed knowledge of our faith is a timely and practical way of deepening our faith, and supporting our journey.

The Year of Faith will continue throughout 2013 until the Solemnity of Christ the King on Sunday
24 November 2013.

What we can do during the Year of Faith
1. Copies of the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVI announcing the Holy Year (on 11 October 2011), of the suggestions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for parishes and dioceses, and of the Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary announcing the indulgences attached to activities of prayer and penance, are contained on the Vatican website [] and will also be made available by the Society of St Paul. We are grateful to the Catholic Development Fund for underwriting the cost of copies for parishes. Arrival is expected in late November or early December.

2. Parishes, communities and schools could make the Compendium of the Catechism readily available for purchase or give-aways.

3.YOUCAT is an alternative for schools, especially commended for distribution and use in secondary schools.

4. Regular quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church or the Compendium could be placed in the parish newsletter. Passages dealing with the nature of faith and with key objects of belief—the Incarnation, the Real Presence, the role of Mary, what is a sacrament, the importance of sacramental Confession, as well as key teachings on the Commandments—honesty, duties of family and parenting, the virtue of chastity, the seventh Commandment (overcoming greed and materialism).

5. Have public showings in the parish of Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism series.
DVDs on the Catechism from Broken Bay Diocese with Archbishop Coleridge, Bishop Putney and others.
The Evangelium resource prepared by young priests for CTS London in Britain.

6. Access to good Bible commentaries that do not just deal with technical matters, but bring spiritual profit. The commentaries produced by the University of Navarre or the books of Fr Brendan Byrne SJ on Matthew, Mark and, for next year, The hospitality of God on St Luke’s Gospel are strongly recommended.

Activities for the year
The Holy Father, as universal Pastor, invites us all to join the successor of Peter during this time of spiritual grace that the Lord offers us, in recalling the precious gift of faith. It is an opportunity to profess our faith in the Risen Lord in cathedrals and churches, homes and families so that everyone will feel as strongly to know better the faith of all times.

Religious communities, parish communities, and ecclesial bodies old and new are to find a way during this year to make a public profession of the Creed. Because faith is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ we are invited to witness in our daily life and to cultivate a high degree of holiness. The granting of indulgences by the Church is very useful as a means by which the Church brings to our lives the redemption which Jesus offered.

Indulgences for the Year of Faith
Indulgences are the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven. This means that an indulgence removes the debt of penance that we owe for the effects of our sins. Indulgences are granted through the ministry of the Church which, as the dispenser of the graces of redemption, distributes the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to us.

Year of Faith Indulgences
Throughout the Year of Faith, all the faithful who are truly repentant, have received the Sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion, and who pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, may receive a Plenary Indulgence for themselves or for the deceased:
a) every time they take part in at least three homilies preached or attend at least three lectures on the proceedings of the Second Vatican Council and on the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church;
b) every time they go as pilgrims to a Papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church, a sacred place designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, and take part there in some sacred function or at least pause in recollection for a suitable length of time, concluding with the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any form, invocations to Our Lady or the Holy Apostles or Patron Saints.

In the Archdiocese of Melbourne, the sacred places for the Indulgence are:

The Papal basilicas:
St Patrick’s Cathedral
Our Lady of Victories, Camberwell
St Mary of the Angels, Geelong

Parish churches and shrines:
St Mary’s Star of the Sea, West Melbourne
St Monica’s, Moonee Ponds
St Patrick’s, Mentone
St Anthony’s Shrine, Hawthorn
Our Lady of Ta’Pinu Shrine, Bacchus Marsh
Polish Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Keysborough
St Francis Xavier, Frankston
St Mary’s, Seymour
Sacred Heart, Croydon
St Mary’s, Dandenong
St Mary of the Assumption, Keilor Downs
Sacred Heart, Preston

c) on Solemnities of the Lord and of Our Lady, the Feast of the Holy Apostles, the Patron Saint of a Church, the Solemnity of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, and the Chair of St Peter, in any Church or sacred place where they take part in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding the Profession of Faith;

d) on a day freely chosen during the Year of Faith on which they make a devout visit to the baptistry where they were baptised, if they renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form. For those who are enclosed religious, monks, acolytes, hermits, prisoners, the elderly and the sick and those caring for them who recite the Our Father, the Profession of Faith and other prayers offering up their suffering to the Lord in the place or chapel where they are.

As we reflect on the plentiful redemption which comes from Jesus Christ and the faith which sustains us, I want to assure you of my own Masses and prayers that, together with the Holy Father, we will grow to a depth of faith and love in Jesus the Redeemer and Light of the World.
Further activities and information will be forwarded from the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation so that this may be a fruitful time for faith and growth.
With prayerful good wishes and thanks for your sharing in this Year.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Archbishop Denis Hart
2 November 2012

Photo by Fiona Basile of Kairos Catholic Journal. Copyright 2012 Kairos Catholic Journal.
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