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One Parish’s Plan for the Year of Faith

William O'LearyWilliam O’Leary, DRE of the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, KS, is bringing a little inspiration from Maryvale, England into his parish during the Year of Faith. The Year of Faith is a time for Catholics to celebrate and share our gift of faith and to gain a deeper understanding of the truths of our faith that Jesus revealed. At the conference, four major themes of action were discussed:

  1. Studying the documents of the Second Vatican Council.
  2. Studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  3. Proclaiming the Creed and making an explicit profession of faith.
  4. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (particularly on Corpus Christi Sunday 2013).

What Is O’Leary Planning for His Parish During the Year of Faith?

Year of FaithDuring the Year of Faith (October 11, 2012 to November 23, 2013), the Church of the Ascension in the Archdiocese of Kansas City will be incorporating the archdiocese’s theme, “Learn it. Love it. Live it.” into its faith formation classes, parish newsletters, and adult group discussions. In his weekly note to catechists, O’Leary will include his personal reflection on the Year of Faith. Perhaps his reflection will inspire ideas that the catechists can incorporate into their lessons. While the students are in class, O’Leary is planning on holding discussions with the parents on topics involving the Year of Faith, such as “What Is the Year of Faith and What Difference Will It Make in Your Family Life?,” “10 Reasons Why Devotion to the Holy Spirit Leads to a Faithful and Peaceful Life,” and “How to Respond Gracefully to Life’s Difficulties.”

O’Leary recently had a discussion with Dr. Petroc Willey of the Maryvale Institute about the New Evangelization (communicating our Catholic faith in today’s world). In light of their conversation and the idea of studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church during the Year of Faith, O’Leary notes:

Communicating the faith in the Third Millennium does call for a re-proposing the Gospel message in a way that will be received by the people of God today. We know that people are less receptive to hour-long lectures (just to name one example) than they once were. Therefore, various tools and methods need to be incorporated (e.g., video, dialogue, small group interaction, etc.). At the same time our faith must be presented from the living sources of the faith—the liturgy, the fathers of the Church, the saints, council documents. The Catechism does this is an unprecedented manner. The reality of presenting the immeasurable riches of the faith from these living sources is key to the New Evangelization.

For more of O’Leary’s insights from the Year of Faith conference and for other valuable information on his vocation and parish, visit his Web site.

Discussion

What do you hope to achieve during the Year of Faith? What are your take-aways thus far?

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