Diocese enters YEAR OF FAITH
by Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic
November 1, 2012
Bishop Mulvey celebrated Mass at the Cathedral to open the Year of Faith. The bishop urged the faithful to renew seek a “fresh encounter with the person of Jesus Christ.”
Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic
Laity from throughout the diocese was in attendance as were members of various religious congregations. A host of priests, including Bishop Emeritus Edmond Carmody and the diocesan Curia, concelebrated the Mass, which was broadcast on KLUX 89.5 HD2.
Bishop Mulvey evoked the Second Vatican Council’s call to all Catholics to “relook at ourselves, to take us back to the beginning.”
“The beginning of our faith is our baptism. It is a faith that we profess through our parents, our godparents, and we will again profess that faith tonight at the beginning of this Year of Faith,” Bishop Mulvey said.
In calling for a Year of Faith, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, invited Catholics to have a “fresh encounter with the person of Jesus Christ.”
“And it is my belief as a pastor of the Church, this is what people are looking for, they are looking for that person of Jesus Christ,” Bishop Mulvey said.
Once the faithful reengage and remake an acquaintance with Jesus, then they will be able to more easily see and come to understand the teachings, the doctrines and the dogma of the Church.
The call to this renewal of faith is part and parcel of the New Evangelization, which asks us to refocus on ourselves, our family, our neighbors and our parish, and to recapture all that we have lost, forgotten and laid aside about our Catholic faith. It demands that we dust off all the clutter we have allowed into our lives from today’s materialistic world and embrace the truth that is the Word of God that He shared with us in the person of Jesus Christ.
“Our lives today confuse,” Bishop Mulvey said. “People today are confused because there are so many options, there are so many things that cloud our minds, that cloud our hearts, that pull at us in our desires. And we as Christians, we as Catholics, we fall pray to these things; what we call today relativism. And we lose focus because we are not focused on the one reality of life.”
Members of the diocesan Curia, from left, Vicar for Retired Priests Msgr. Thomas P. Mc Gettrick, Vicar General Msgr. Louis Kihneman, III and Vicar for Priests Father Emilio Jimenez, concelebrated the Mass with Bishop Mulvey, along with other members of the clergy.
Alfredo E. Cardenas, South Texas Catholic
“There are things in life that we will never understand, we will never figure out, we will never solve, we will never put in a test tube, we will never put under a microscope. There are things in life unseen. There are realities in front of us that we do not perceive with our eyes or with our ears and yet we are called to believe in them. And so faith takes us beyond sight and this is where faith and reason either combat each other, fight against each other or where faith completes human reason,” the bishop said.
In these circumstances, Bishop Mulvey said, the martyrs and saints provide us the example, “because they walk by faith not by sight.”
“They walk out of love, they encounter God in all things. They approach life as a gift. They see what others do not see.”
The bishop encouraged the faithful that as they listen and read the Gospel during the Year of Faith to “hear” the word “faith” constantly springing out and that they “take time” to understand what is being said.
“So as we look at our situations, as we look at our life, as we observe those things that happen around us, let us not be those in the boat who doubted and Jesus would have to say to us, ‘Oh, you had little faith. Did you not believe in my love? You doubted’,” Bishop Mulvey said. “Let him say of us this year ‘I see your faith. I see that you are willing to go where you do not understand. You are willing to abandon yourself to me and to my providence, to my will.’ And God does have a will for each one of our lives. And if we are strong in faith we will allow God’s plan for us to be unfolded.”
Echoing the pope’s wishes, Bishop Mulvey asked that everyone “to study more to pray more, to serve more.”
“The more we pray and the more we are listening to the word of God, studying the word of God, studying the catechism, the more our faith will blossom,” he said.
There will be many opportunities for prayer and study and service in the Diocese of Corpus Christi during the Year of Faith.
On Dec. 1, the diocese will host a “Vatican II Symposium” at St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles Parish located at 3901 Violet Road in Corpus Christi. The event will begin at 10 a.m., with Bishop Mulvey delivering the opening address, and conclude at 2 p.m., with lunch being provided.
Dr. Geri Telepak will speak on “Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.” Dr. Telepak has a Master of Arts from St. Mary’s University; a Doctor of Ministry from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary; and currently serves as director of the Department of Religious Education and Formation for the Diocese of Austin.
Father Ken Hannon, OMI will discuss “Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.” Father Hannon is a professor at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio.
For more information on the symposium, call (361) 882-6191, ext. 631 by Nov. 14.
A second symposium will be held at the Cathedral on March 9. Father Donald Nesti from St. Thomas University in Houston will speak on “Gaudium et Spes, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World” and Father Thomas Norris on “Dei Verbum, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation.”
The diocese has created a Web page especially for the Year of Faith. The page is a robust site with daily updates. It can be found at www.diocesecc.org/YoF or by using your smart phone to capture the QR code from the icon on this page.
One item that will be updated frequently is the “Bishop’s Reflections” during the Year of Faith, which are video and audio reflections by Bishop Mulvey on Gospel readings. The bishop hopes to provide reflections several times a week.
Pope Benedict has suggested that by reading a few passages of the Catechism of the Catholic Church daily, the faithful can read the entire catechism by the end of the Year of Faith. The folks at Flocknotes have developed an app that allows people to subscribe to their service for free and receive a daily email with passages from the Catechism, which will fulfill the Holy Father’s suggestion. The app is available on the diocese’s Year of Faith page.
The pope has also recommended to the faithful to read the conciliar documents issued by the Second Vatican Council. Those documents are also on the diocese’s Web site.