By Elizabeth Lowe
The Archdiocese of Baltimore is ushering in the Year of Faith with a special Mass, prayers and parish-based efforts to educate and deepen faith throughout the archdiocese.
Archbishop William E. Lori will inaugurate the Year of Faith – a period of prayer, reflection and renewal called by Pope Benedict XVI – with a 5 p.m. Mass celebrated Oct. 7 at St. Mark, Catonsville.
Catholics throughout the archdiocese began praying a special novena Oct. 2, available in an e-book format at archbalt.org. The novena concludes Oct. 11.
As part of the yearlong celebration, many parishes have begun showing a popular DVD series, “Catholicism,” by Father Robert Barron of Chicago.
The Year of Faith officially begins Oct. 11 with a Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It ends Nov. 24, 2013.
Throughout the year, Catholics are encouraged to study and reflect on Vatican II documents and the catechism to deepen their knowledge of the faith.
St. Patrick in Havre de Grace and Holy Rosary in Fells Point are among the parishes showing Father Barron’s 10-part DVD series, filmed across the globe. Father Barron said the program is about the dogmas and the doctrines of the faith.
“God is expressed through the physical and beautiful things of the world – which is the great Catholic idea,” said Father Barron, rector of Mundelein Seminary and president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Ill.
Nancy Elder, director of religious education at St. Patrick, called the DVD series “a great way of learning about Catholicism in a very inspiring way.”
St. Patrick is screening the series on Sunday mornings, from September through December.
“It’s very accessible for people,” Elder said. “It kind of meets people at various stages of learning about their faith.” Elder hopes the series inspires people to want to know more.
Holy Rosary began showing the DVD series Sept. 19, said Society of Christ Father Andrzej Totzke, pastor. Every other week, parishioners will watch a part of the series or discuss the film.
“People are so excited for this program,” Father Totzke said. “I want to give the opportunity for people to go the easiest way to find Jesus.”
Immaculate Conception in Towson is also presenting the DVD series in two parts – five sessions Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25 and Nov. 8 and five sessions in January and February.
In celebration of the Year of Faith, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez in Woodstock, St. Paul, Church of the Resurrection and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, all in Ellicott City, are offering “yoUniversity of Vatican II,” an adult education series focusing on the Catechism, Vatican II and other church documents.
Classes will be held at the Center for the New Evangelization at St. Paul at 7 p.m. Thursdays Oct. 11-Nov. 29 and resume Jan. 10.
Visit the Vatican’s Year of Faith website at annusfidei.va.