Diocesan News & Resources

Diocese of Madison Website:

Bishop Ricken Offers ‘10 Ways Catholics Can Live The Year Of Faith’

September 24, 2012

WASHINGTON—To honor the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI has announced a Year of Faith, starting October 11 and ending November 24, 2013. The goal is to strengthen the faith of Catholics and draw the world to faith by their example.

Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, offers “10 Ways Catholics Can Live the Year of Faith.” Rooted in guidelines from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, some of these suggestions are already requirements for Catholics; others can be embraced by Catholics at all times and especially during the Year of Faith:

1. Participate in Mass. The Year of Faith is meant to promote the personal encounter with Jesus. This occurs most immediately in the Eucharist. Regular Mass attendance strengthens one’s faith through the Scriptures, the Creed, other prayers, sacre Like going to Mass, Catholics find strength and grow deeper in their faith through participation in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Confession urges people to turn back to God, express sorrow for falling short and open their lives to the power of God’s healing grace. It forgives the injuries of the past and provides strength for the future.

3. Learn about the lives of the saints. The saints are timeless examples of how to live a Christian life, and they provide endless hope. Not only were they sinners who kept trying to grow closer to God, but they also exemplify ways a person can serve God: through teaching, missionary work, charity, prayer and simply striving to please God in the ordinary actions and decisions of daily life.

4. Read the Bible daily. Scripture offers first-hand access to the Word of God and tells the story of human salvation. Catholics can pray the Scriptures (through lectio divina or other methods) to become more attuned to the Word of God. Either way, the Bible is a must for growth in the Year of Faith.

5. Read the documents of Vatican II. The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) ushered in a great renewal of the Church. It impacted how Mass is celebrated, the role of the laity, how the Church understands itself and its relationship with other Christians and non-Christians. To continue this renewal, Catholics must understand what the Council taught and how it enriches the lives of believers.

6. Study the Catechism. Published exactly 30 years after the start of the Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church covers the beliefs, moral teachings, prayer and sacraments of the Catholic Church in one volume. It’s a resource for growing in understanding of the faith. Another helpful resource is the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA).

7. Volunteer in the parish. The Year of Faith can’t only be about study and reflection. The solid grounding of the Scriptures, the Council and the Catechism must translate into action. The parish is a great place to start, and each person’s gifts help build up the community. People are welcome as ministers of hospitality, liturgical musicians, lectors, catechists and in other roles in parish life.

8. Help those in need. The Vatican urges Catholics to donate to charity and volunteer to help the poor during the Year of Faith. This means to personally encounter Christ in the poor, marginalized and vulnerable. Helping others brings Catholics face-to-face with Christ and creates an example for the rest of the world.

9. Invite a friend to Mass. The Year of Faith may be global in its scope, focusing on a renewal of faith and evangelization for the whole Church, but real change occurs at the local level. A personal invitation can make all the difference to someone who has drifted from the faith or feels alienated from the Church. Everyone knows people like this, so everyone can extend a loving welcome.

10. Incorporate the Beatitudes into daily life. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) provide a rich blueprint for Christian living. Their wisdom can help all to be more humble, patient, just, transparent, loving, forgiving and free. It’s precisely the example of lived faith needed to draw people to the Church in the year ahead.

More information on the Year of Faith is available online: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/year-of-faith/index.cfm


Keywords: Year of Faith, Vatican, Bishop David Ricken, Second Vatican Council, Vatican II, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, New Evangelization, Scripture, Bible, charity, Mass, Reconciliation, confession

# # # # #


Don Clemmer

O: 202-541-3206



Bishop's Statement on the Year of Faith plenary indulgence.

Decree Designating a Place of Pilgrimage for the Year of Faith and Determining Certain Days for Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence    
Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

Whereas our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in the hope of arousing in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, of intensifying the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, and of encouraging the faithful to rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived, and prayed, has proclaimed a Year of Faith from October 11, 2012, to November 24, 2013;

Whereas the Apostolic Penitentiary has opened the spiritual treasury of the Church by granting a plenary indulgence to those who make a pilgrimage during the Year of Faith to a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, or a sacred place designated by the local ordinary and there take part in some sacred function or at least pause in recollection for a suitable length of time with devout meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary or, depending on the case, to the Holy Apostles or Patrons;

Whereas the year of faith coincides with the sixtieth anniversary of the erection and dedication of the Schoenstatt Shrine in Madison, where the faith of countless pilgrims has been nourished and deepened;

Now, therefore, I, the undersigned Bishop of Madison, hereby designate the Schoenstatt Founder Shrine at Schoenstatt Heights in Madison (5901 Cottage Grove Road, Madison) as a place of pilgrimage for the Year of Faith, and I exhort all of the faithful to make a devout pilgrimage there and to perform the devotional acts prescribed by the Apostolic Penitentiary.

Furthermore, whereas a plenary indulgence can also be obtained during the Year of Faith by those who, in any sacred place, take part in a solemn Eucharistic celebration or in the Liturgy of the Hours, adding the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, on the days determined by the local ordinary;

Therefore I elect the following memorials, feasts, and solemnities as days on which the indulgence can be obtained:

I. The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe -- Wednesday, December 12, 2012

II. The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul -- Friday, January 25, 2013

III. The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord -- Saturday, February 2, 2013

IV. The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle -- Friday, February 22, 2013

V. The Solemnity of Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- Tuesday, March 19, 2013

VI. The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord -- Monday, April 8, 2013

VII. The Optional Memorial of St. Rita of Cascia, Religious -- Wednesday, May 22, 2013

VIII. The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- Friday, May 31, 2013

IX. The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus -- Friday, June 7, 2013

X. The Optional Memorial of St. Josemaria Escrivá de Balaguer, Priest -- Wednesday, June 26, 2013

XI. The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles -- Saturday, June 29, 2013

XII. The Memorial of St. Benedict, Abbot -- Thursday, July 11, 2013

XIII. The Memorial of Ss. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- Friday, July 26, 2013

XIV. The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord -- Tuesday, August 6, 2013

XV. The Memorial of St. Dominic, Priest -- Thursday, August 8, 2013

XVI. The Memorial of St. Bernard, Abbot, Doctor of the Church -- Tuesday, August 20, 2013

XVII. The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross -- Saturday, September 14, 2013

XVIII. The Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest -- Monday, September 23, 2013

XIX. The Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest -- Friday, September 27, 2013

XX. The Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus -- Tuesday, October 1, 2013

XXI. The Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi -- Friday, October 4, 2013

XXII. The Optional Memorial of Blessed John Paul II -- Tuesday, October 22, 2013

XXIII. The Optional Memorial of St. Albert the Great, Bishop, Doctor -- Friday, November 15, 2013

XXIV. The Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary -- Thursday, November 21, 2013.

By this decree I also exhort all the faithful of Madison to avail themselves of the other opportunities for obtaining a plenary indulgence in this Year of Faith, namely:

  • By attending at least three sermons preached during the sacred missions or at least three lectures on the Proceedings of the Second Vatican Council and on the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in any church or suitable place;
  • By making a devout visit to the baptistery or other place in which they received the sacrament of baptism and there renewing the baptismal promises in any legitimate form;
  • By receiving the Papal Blessing, which I will impart on November 24, 2013, the final day of the Year of Faith and the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King;
  • And, for those who for serious reasons are unable to take part in the solemn celebrations of the Year of Faith, by reciting at home, or wherever their impediment obliges them to be, the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and other prayers in conformity with the objectives of the Year of Faith, offering up their suffering or the hardship in their lives, all while united in mind and spirit with the faithful present at those celebrations, especially at a moment when the words of the Supreme Pontiff or of the diocesan bishops are broadcast via the television or radio.

Additionally, I remind the faithful of the necessary conditions for acquiring a plenary indulgence, namely, receiving Holy Communion, sacramentally confessing one’s sins, and praying for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, all within the several days surrounding the performance of the prescribed works, and having an interior disposition that is free from all affection for sin, even venial sin; however, when one or more of these conditions is lacking, a partial indulgence can be acquired instead, provided that one is in a state of grace at least when completing the prescribed works.

Lastly, I remind the faithful that they can acquire indulgences on behalf of the holy souls in Purgatory, those saints of the Church Suffering who never cease to pray for us even when we so often neglect to remember them.

Given at Madison on the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this 21st day of November, in the year of our Lord 2012, in the tenth year of my episcopacy.


Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino
Bishop of Madison

Witnessed: Kevin R. Phelan


Diocese of Madison, Catholic Herald
702 S. High Point Rd., Madison, WI 53719 Phone: 608-821-3070 Fax: 608-821-3071
Web site created by Leemark Communications and Catholic Herald staff.



Check this out