By Cody Maynus, SJU '13, Faith Communities Minister
The Year of Faith, instituted by Pope Benedict XVI to increase evangelization by the faithful, begins Oct. 12, which is the 50th anniversary of the convention of the Second Vatican Council. In his motu propio declaring the roughly year-long celebration, the pontiff wrote, "We want this year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope."
The CSB community, along with other Roman Catholic colleges, parishes, and religious communities, will celebrate the Year of Faith with a variety of events and programs.
Good News People, a hybrid of Bible study, catechesis and faith sharing, is one such program. Students are invited to participate in monthly sessions shaped around what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in Scripture and in today's world.
In addition, the Faith Communities ministry will collaborate with the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Dialogue to sponsor interfaith discussions and celebrations. The Faith Communities staff collaborated with a Jewish student on a celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which commenced at sundown on Sept. 16. Plans are underway to facilitate Sabbath celebrations, as well as Hanukkah. Interfaith and interreligious dialogue is promoted by the Second Vatican Council's Nostra Aetate, which calls for the promotion of "mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between Catholics and the followers of other religious traditions.
The Faith Communities ministry is also bringing back its popular Bread and Night Blessing evening program in the first- and second-year residences. In the first month, more than 200 students have gathered to reflect, pray, share, receive an evening blessing and break bread together within their living group residences.