With just two months to go until the Year of Faith begins, the Vatican has released a calendar of all the major meetings, celebrations and initiatives taking place in Rome.
The events, which are aimed at deepening the diverse religious and cultural themes related to the yearlong celebration, begin shortly before the official opening on Oct. 11, according to the calendar compiled by L’Osservatore Romano and published Aug. 1.
The Court of the Gentiles will be holding a meeting of dialogue between believers and nonbelievers in Assisi Oct. 6, followed by the opening of the XIII General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Oct. 7 at the Vatican. The synod will last until Oct. 28.
The Pope is then to formally open the Year of Faith at a solemn celebration in St. Peter’s Square, beginning at 10am on Oct. 11. The Holy Father will be joined by the Synod Fathers and presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences. In the evening, the Italian Catholic movement L’Azione Cattolica will hold a procession from Castel Sant’Angelo to St. Peter’s Square to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.
A large number of events will then begin to take place over the next 12 months, all emphasizing the meaning of faith and evangelization. These include a meeting on the theme “The Faith of Dante,” an artistic and cultural evening that will take place at the Jesuit Chiesa del Gesu in Rome Oct. 12, partly organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture.
On Oct. 20, a pilgrimage and vigil for missionaries will take place on the Janiculum hill close to the Vatican, organized by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The following day, Sunday Oct. 21, Benedict XVI will preside over the canonization of six martyrs and blesseds: Jacques Barthieu, a Jesuit missionary, martyred in Madagascar in 1896; Pietro Calungsod, a lay catechist, martyred in the Philippines in 1672; Giovanni Battista Piamarta, an Italian priest who founded the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth for men and the Humble Servants of the Lord for women, who died in 1913; two Americans: Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai, who spent 30 years ministering to lepers on the Hawaiian island of Molokai; and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, a native American, baptized by a Jesuit missionary in 1676 when she was 20, who died four years later; Blessed Carmen Salles y Barangueras, a religious in Spain who worked with disadvantaged girls and prostitutes and died in 1911; and Anna Schäffer, a lay Bavarian woman who accepted her infirmity as a way of sanctification, who died in 1925.
Then, Oct. 26-30, a congress of the World Union of Catholic Teachers will take place in Rome, focusing on the role of the teacher and the family in the integral formation of students, with the participation of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
Nov. 15-17, the 27th International Conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care will be held on the theme “The Hospital, a Place of Evangelization: the Human and Spiritual Mission.”
After the Holy Father celebrates the first vespers of Advent for the pontifical universities in Rome and other institutes of formation on Dec. 1, an exhibition on the Year of Faith will be inaugurated Dec. 20 in Castel Sant’Angelo. The exhibition will last until May 1, 2013.
As is tradition, an ecumenical prayer service with Pope Benedict will take place Jan. 25, 2013, at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, but next year’s celebration on the Solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul will also see an art exhibit on display in the basilica until Nov. 24; it is entitled Sanctus Paolus Extra Moenia et Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum II.
On Feb. 2, Benedict XVI will celebrate the World Day of Men and Women Religious in St. Peter’s; and a Feb. 25-26 symposium, “Sts. Cyril and Methodius Among the Slavic Peoples: 1,150 Years From the Beginning of the Missions,” will take place at the Pontifical Oriental Institute and the Pontifical Gregorian University.
On March 24, Benedict XVI will celebrate Palm Sunday, a day traditionally offered for young people in preparation for World Youth Day.
Between April 4-6, the Congregation for Catholic Education will co-host an international conference as part of the celebration.
A concert, “Oh My Son,” will be performed in the Paul VI Hall April 13, while, from April 15-17, the Congregation for Catholic Education will be organizing a study day to discuss the relevance of the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the formation of candidates for the priesthood and in the ongoing revision of the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis (Spiritual Formation in Seminaries).
April 28 will be a day dedicated to all boys and girls who have received the sacrament of confirmation; the Holy Father is scheduled to confirm a small group of young people on this day. On May 5, the Pope will celebrate a day dedicated to confraternities and popular piety.
On the vigil of Pentecost, May 18, the Pope will dedicate the celebrations to all the faith-based movements, together with pilgrims at the tomb of Peter, and invoke the Holy Spirit. June 2, the feast of Corpus Domini, will be a day of solemn Eucharistic adoration, presided by the Pope. As part of the Year of Faith, adoration will take place throughout the world.
A day dedicated to Blessed Pope John Paul’s 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae will take place June 16, in the presence of the Pope. It will be dedicated to the witness of the gospel of life, to the defense of the dignity of the person from conception to natural death.
writes from Rome.