Thursday 19 June 2008
Pope Benedict has proposed that we celebrate the Year of Paul, commemorating the bi-millennium of his birth, from 29 June 2008. I invite you to share in the Launch of the Pauline Year with a lecture by Father Brendan Byrne, S.J., at the Cardinal Knox Centre on Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 7.30pm.
It is a wonderful opportunity for us to share in the total conversion to Christ which changed the course of Paul’s life, to know him personally and profit from his letters, as well as to be inspired by the enthusiasm for the Gospel which he demonstrated in all of the then known world.
Pope Benedict believes that a greater knowledge of Saint Paul, one of the principal agents of the first evangelisation, will help us through knowing Christ, being captured by zeal for souls, and learning what motivated Saint Paul to take on a new way of thinking, which will see the gift of faith as a treasure in our own personal life, but one, above all, to be shared with others.
I have asked the Office for Evangelisation to develop resources which will support parishes, schools and communities throughout the forthcoming year. The Office for Evangelisation will bring these to your attention in the future. I envisage resources which will develop the Pauline Letters, with specific focus on Saint Paul during Advent and Lent, creative engagement with the arts, formation opportunities and possible evangelisation strategies which local parishes and communities may endeavour to develop from the impetus of Saint Paul whose Gospel zeal may inspire us anew in our time. The Year of Paul opens possibilities for ecumenical engagement and dialogue. Engagement with the figure of Saint Paul may inspire a deeper sense of personal vocation and response to living the Good News in our time and place.
I do urge you to carry forward initiatives in each parish, school and community to make Saint Paul better known and his focus on Christ as the inspiration of all that we do. Thank you for your generosity and creativity in this year, which I believe will be of great benefit to us all.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne