Circular No. 8/2013
05 September, 2013
“Glory to God in the highest”, Amen.
Dear and Reverend Fathers, men and women religious and loving people of God,
I am very pleased to know that all the parishes and missions of the diocese give proper importance to the programs of the Year of Faith. I appreciate and congratulate Reverend Fathers, Sisters and Lay people of the diocese for organizing successful celebrations of the Year of Faith through their dedicated service and hard work. All the programs of the Year of Faith are intended to enkindle the fire of faith in every faithful and thereby to know better the fundamentals of Christian faith and to witness to this faith in the present society.
Faith Year celebrations in the diocese aim at knowing, experiencing and witnessing the faith. Since we have completed almost ten months of the Year of Faith, it is time to make an evaluation of our observances and see how far we have succeeded in our efforts to realize the goals of the Year of Faith. At the diocesan level, study materials and other programs have been made available to cater the first two aims of the Year of Faith, i.e., knowing and experiencing the fundamentals of faith. Books, booklets and power points on various topics related to our faith such as Holy Qurbana, II Vatican Council and Catechism of the Catholic Church have been made available to make use for the discussions and study classes in ward prayers and faith formation programs.
Knowledge should lead to convictions and experience. To help our convictions and to have deeper experience of faith, retreats and music programs were conducted in different parishes and missions of the diocese. Of these, Faith Fire Retreats, preached by Rev. Dr. Joseph Pamplaniyil and Snehasangheerthanam music show, directed by Rev. Fr. Antony Uruliyaniackal CMI were well appreciated by the participants.
The third aim of Year of Faith, i.e., living/witnessing faith is of utmost importance. What we gained through knowledge and experience has to be lived and shared in family and parish/mission community through proper participation in the Sacraments, of Holy Qurbana and Confession, family prayer and paying attention to the reading of the Word of God regularly with due attention. Further, the lived faith should be transmitted to others through acts of charity. In short, family and parish/mission community should become the center of faith formation and agents for the transmission of faith.
I earnestly request Reverend Fathers and all the members of the diocese to take all the necessary steps for the realization of the above mentioned aims of the Year of Faith in the coming months. Let the whole diocese be formed in accordance with the great visions of the Church expressed in the two apostolic letters, “The Door of Faith” and “The Light of Faith”. Keeping the spirit of the Year of Faith in all our activities, let us try our best to live its motto: “faith working through charity” (Gal 5,6).
Invoking God’s abundant blessing on each one of you,
Mar Jacob Angadiath
Bishop of St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago
NB: Read this circular on September 08, 2013 when you gather for Holy Qurbana.