In his Apostolic Letter The Door of Faith released on October 11, 2011 Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed that the Church would celebrate a Year of Faith beginning October 11, 2012 and ending on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on November 24, 2013.
The decision to begin the celebration Year of Faith on October 11, 2012 is to remind us of two important dates in the history of the Catholic Church in the 20th century. The first marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The second is that it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the publication of The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Pope Benedict XVI calls Catholics to revisit the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, as they are the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century. In the study of these texts in an authentic way, believers will discover what it means to experience a renewed conversion to Jesus Christ, the one Savior of the world.
Along with the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the Church has also given Catholics the gift of The Catechism of the Catholic Church. In the Catechism, Catholics will find a presentation of the systematic knowledge of the content of the Catholic faith and an indispensable tool for our growth as individuals and as a community.
Understanding these teachings are not ends in themselves, but are the sure guides leading Catholics to embrace the Person of Jesus Christ. There is nothing that the world needs more that to be reintroduced to the Living Lord, who calls the world to a deeper personal relationship with him so he may bring all to the Father.
In Jesus Christ, Catholics are called to a renewed understanding of what Jesus offers the world, and in celebrating his Real Presence in the Eucharist. In the renewal of the vibrant and credible faith of Catholics the world will witness the hope that God gives us in Jesus Christ that love is real and peace is possible.
- the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has written a United States Catechism for Adults, that may serve as a useful tool for growth during this year.
- Sixteen Documents of Vatican II – Book containing major writings of Vatican II.
- The Vatican website has a special site for the Year of Faith and the documents of Vatican II are available online.