October 2012
Getting a head start to the Year of Faith
by Eric Sammons

It is important first to remember what “faith” is: It is both the content of what we believe and the act by which we give our total assent to the reality behind that content. For example, when we recite the Nicene Creed during the Mass, we both profess the chief truths of the Catholic faith (content), and we affirm our acceptance of that faith (act).

Parish

During a “Year of Faith,” the Church refocuses its energies toward both these aspects: the content of the faith and the consequences of accepting and living that faith. In 1967, Pope Paul VI called a Year of Faith to commemorate the 19th centenary of the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul. He wished at that time, just a few years after Vatican II, for the Church to make “an authentic and sincere profession of the same faith” held by those two great apostles.

In Porta Fidei (“Door of Faith”), his October 2011 apostolic letter announcing the special year, Pope Benedict described this Year of Faith as “a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Savior of the world” (No. 6). In a way, this Year of Faith is simply a continuation of the overriding theme of Pope Benedict’s pontificate: encountering Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church. In the encyclical Deus Caritas Est (“God is Love”), the pontiff wrote, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, who gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” The Year of Faith is intended to call people to that encounter and to make it concrete and widely known.

Read the full article from the Oct 7 issue of OSV Newsweekly.

Celebrate Life
Take Out magazine

‘I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly’ (Jn 10:10) As Catholics, we believe that all human life is sacred – from “conception to natural death.” We value human beings because we were created in God’s image; there is a reflection of the divine in each of us. October is dedicated to this important Catholic social teaching. What are some ways your family could celebrate human life this month?

• Visit an elderly facility; listen and share stories with some of the residents.
• Help a family in your parish or neighborhood with a newborn by bringing a meal or offering to run errands for needed supplies.
• Pray for abortions to end in our country and around the world.

From the October issue of Take Out: Family Faith on the Go

Celebrating Father Noll's legacy and rededicating ourselves to the mission
by Greg Erlandson, Our Sunday Visitor publisher
John Francis Noll

... We are not just celebrating 100 years of a great publication, but the vision and mission of a diocesan priest named John Noll, a gifted man with a talent for communications and an entrepreneurial spirit that made the best uses of his talent.
Even before he founded what is today OSV Newsweekly, Father Noll had made a name for himself as a pastor who cared most of all for forming and informing his people — often more devout than educated — and defending the faith from hatred and prejudice. Catholics — many of the recent immigrants who were viewed as un-American in their loyalties and willing to work for less money than other workers — were the target of great hostility. Father Noll stoutly challenged anti-Catholics and sought to bolster the self-identity of Catholics so as to be able to make a valuable contribution to American society. While an apologist and teacher first and foremost, Father Noll, who later became a bishop and then an archbishop, was also a brilliant entrepreneur who used all the means at his disposal to communicate the truths of the Faith and to address the issues of his day. He also introduced the concept of offering envelopes to Catholic parishes, and Our Sunday Visitor is the world’s largest Catholic producer of such envelopes.
Since his death in 1956, both Church and society have been transformed in ways he might never have imagined.Yet the vision he traced — to form Catholics in the Faith, to inform Catholics about their Church and the world through the eyes of faith, and to defend the Faith when it was under attack — remains as relevant as ever.

Read more from the Sept. 30 issue of OSV Newsweekly
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Survey provides snapshot of parish leaders
A volunteer at a Washington, D.C. food pantry. CNS photo

by Brian Fraga

A portrait of parish life in the United States is taking shape as data pours in from nationwide surveys of pastors, lay ministers and parishioners. Findings from the most recent survey of parish ministerial leaders — conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University — were released Aug. 15, and posted on CARA’s research blog “1964.”
The survey was commissioned by the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Project, a collaboration of five national Catholic ministerial organizations that seek to understand how best to address the Church’s needs in the 21st century.
“The organizations have been concerned about how we are going to meet the changing needs of tomorrow’s Church at the parish level,” said Neil A. Parent, director of the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Project.

Read more from the Sept. 16 issue of OSV Newsweekly. Call 800-348-2440, ext. 2171, for a special offer on ordering copies for your parish.

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October 23 - St. John of Capistrano
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