The following is a letter from Bishop Richard Stika to be read throughout the diocese at all Masses this weekend concerning the Year of Faith and our upcoming 25th anniversary as a diocese:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
This past Thursday, the 11th of October, we marked the beginning of the Year of Faith and the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council whose mission it was to help us grow deeper in our understanding of the richness of the Catholic faith.
I want to encourage each of you to use this particular occasion to prayerfully reflect upon what you could do personally to make this Year of Faith fruitful. With this being said, I want to encourage you to consider doing the following:
1) Increase your daily prayer life to include the Profession of Faith that we pray in the form of the Nicene Creed.
2) Frequent the Sacrament of Confession. As medicine is for the body, confession is health care of the soul. Also, avail yourself of the special plenary indulgences that are offered during the Year of Faith, that help to better purify us for our heavenly reward.
3) Increase your involvement in your parish community with the gift of your time, prayer, and resources such as participating in Scriptural studies, making Holy Hours of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament or helping to start or maintain a St. Vincent de Paul Society in your parish.
4) Take every opportunity to be the hands and face of Jesus to all you encounter.
We must always keep in mind that our faith should never be static, but active in charity, for every call to action is first of all a call to prayer, and every prayer is incomplete unless it leads us to a greater love of God and our neighbor.
In one of those wonderful coincidences, the Church’s Year of Faith coincides with our own diocesan “year of preparation” that will culminate with our 25th Jubilee Anniversary and our very first “Eucharistic Congress” on September 14th, 2013. This very special family weekend at the Sevierville Events Center will then kick off our Jubilee “year of celebration” throughout our diocese. As a part of both the Year of Faith and our year of preparation for the Jubilee and its year of celebration that will follow, each parish will have the opportunity to participate in a faith formation program during the next three seasons of Lent called “Living the Eucharist.”
Finally, please continue to pray for all of our clergy and religious who help bring the faith to all of us. Pray also for the continued blessing of vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, religious and consecrated life.
Please be assured of my continued prayers for all of you. May God bless you.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard F. Stika
Bishop of Knoxville
+Richard F. Stika
The Most Reverend
Richard F. Stika
Bishop of Knoxville
805 Northshore Drive SW
Knoxville, TN 37919