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Our Opening of the Year of Faith

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“Pilgrims we, full of expectation,
Searching in the darkness.
Lord, you come, revealing the Father,
You for us are Son of the Most High”
“I believe Lord, I believe!
Increase, increase in us the faith!”

With these words of the hymn of the Year of Faith on our lips and in our hearts we entered the time of new hope and of new expectations and also of a new commitment. We believe firmly that this time will be a time of grace which will rekindle faith and love, both in ourselves and in the whole Church. Many of us from the Procura and Generalate community participated on October 11 in Rome in the Opening Mass of the Year of Faith, on the 50 years jubilee day of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

 

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In our thoughts and hearts we carried all our fellow Sisters and members of the Union of the Catholic Apostolate, wherever they live and work, and also all those, who desired to participate in this moment, to implore together with them in this historic event of the Church: “Lord increase in us the faith”. As the Holy Father expressed it in his homily, this celebration was not only a moment of commemoration of the past but at the same time an event which shall show to the Church the direction towards the future, towards New Evangelization. Pope Benedict XVI said to all of us “I consider it as the most important thing, to revive in the whole Church this positive tension, this desire to proclaim Christ anew to the people of our time.

Listening to the words of the Holy Father we felt invited to reflect on how we Pallottine Missionary Sisters can revive our relationship with Christ, to find new enthusiasm with which we can help others to discover the presence of Christ in their lives.

“Pilgrims we, thankful and united,
Each day that you give.
Lord, you guide us on the pathway of life
You for us are the hope of salvation.
I believe Lord, I believe.
With the world where your kingdom is among us
O Lord, we cry:
Increase, increase in us the faith!”

(from the hymn of the Year of Faith)

 

During the evening vigil on the St. Peters Square, which was organized by the Azione Cattolica, the Pallottine Family could not be absent. Exactly at the same time, 50 years before, St. Peters Square was crowded with a multitude of faithful, who wanted to thank Pope John XXIII for his courage to convoke the Second Vatican Council. On this evening, 50 years later, 40.000 faithful with burning candles in their hands, came and thanked Pope Benedict XVI for the inauguration of the Year of Faith, which is an inviting initiative for the New Evangelization.

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The Holy Father, from the window of the Pontifical House, spoke with courage and humility about the post-conciliar decades, as a time with difficult experiences, but also as a new spring time of the Church.

He directed words of hope to all of us: God never will abandon his people! There are so many signs which show us the truth of His real presence, for example the many new carisms flourishing in the Church.

Before his blessing, Pope Benedict reminded of the words of John XXIII, who in that evening 1962, from his window called out to the multitude of faithful: “as you go home now, say a good word to your elderly and sick ones, and give a kiss to your children. Tell them: this is from the Pope!” In the same way the Holy Father said: “coming home, give a kiss to your children and tell them: it is from the Pope!”

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This tenderness from Benedict XVI we wish to share with you, who are reading these lines!! We wish to all of us to rediscover the richness and beauty of faith, which is a gift but also a choice which day after day we are invited to make.

Increase, increase in us the faith! I believe, Lord, increase in us the faith! (From the Hymn of the Year of Faith)

 

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