By: Margaret Morris
The faithful are called “to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” during the Year of Faith, as called by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11.
Benedict has asked the faithful to take this year as an opportunity to experience a deeper conversion, to return to the Lord and to seek a deeper relationship with God.
The Rev. Dominic Scotto, Franciscan University of Steubenville chaplain and professor of theology, encourages students to take advantage of the upcoming year to learn more about their faith. Not only is 2012-2013 the Year of Faith, but the Catholic Church will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Holy Father suggested that during this Year of Faith we ought to reread both of those documents. Scotto suggested making it the year’s project.
“This year calls us to check,” he said, “to see if we are running in place, and if we are, to try to do something about that.”
He also said it will help us to not take for granted the gift of our faith, but enter in deeper to its mysteries and teachings.
The Year of Faith will conclude on the feast of Christ the King in 2013.
On campus, preparations have been made for the start of the year, and activities are being scheduled up until the end of the spring semester. A committee has been formed specifically to handle the organization of these events, and to help deepen the student body’s experience.
Beginning Thursday, Oct. 11, a banner celebrating the Year of Faith was hung above the chapel doors, and will display information and announcements. On Nov. 8, Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, will come to Franciscan to open the Year of Faith with the student body. Adoration will last from 3-4 p.m., and the bishop will then celebrate the 4:45 pm mass.
The Year of Faith Committee is currently meeting weekly to organize events and prepare commentaries. There will be a series of readings called ‘Faith Facts’ set out in the Christ the King Chapel every few weeks. Faith Facts are short readings that go in depth on various aspects of the faith, from the liturgy to the Catechism.
Speakers are being scheduled for the year, including a tentative lecture by Steven Ray, scheduled to take place in the 2013 spring semester. An Academic Symposium on the Year of Faith is also being organized.
With these different exciting events available, Robert Palladino, director of Chapel Ministries, hopes that students will take advantage of the opportunities.
“We want this year to be a year of formation,” Palladino said. “It is an opportunity for students to explore their faith and grow deeper in their love for Christ.”