Year of Faith

Year of the Faith concludes with Eucharistic Congress

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PROVIDENCE — As Catholics around the world prepare to mark the official end this Sunday of the Year of Faith, parishioners from across the diocese gathered at St. Pius V Church and Providence College this past weekend for a two-day Eucharistic Congress in which they offered thanksgiving for the opportunity the year provided them to rediscover and share the gifts of faith and the Eucharist that they have been given.

Click here to view additional photos of the closing Mass

The diocesan Eucharistic Congress, sponsored by the Office of Evangelization and Faith Formation in collaboration with the diocesan Evangelization and Year of Faith subcommittees, opened Friday evening with a Mass, lively music designed to engage young people in a deeper expression of their faith and Eucharistic adoration.

Saturday morning began with an early-morning procession of the Blessed Sacrament from St. Pius V Church to nearby St. Dominic Chapel on the Providence College campus, followed by meditations and workshops offered in a number of areas, some offered in both English and Spanish.

A Holy Mass presided over by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin served to conclude the celebration of the Year of Faith in the diocese.

The bishop explained in his homily that the Eucharist, which served as the focal point of the diocesan congress, was a most appropriate symbol to represent the gathering.

“The Eucharist is the source and sign of our Catholic Faith. The church draws her very life from the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the heart and soul of what we do and believe as Catholics,” Bishop Tobin said, relating the view of Blessed John Paul II on the sacrament.

The bishop said that in addition to being a sacrament, the abiding presence of God, the Eucharist is also a spiritual meal and a celebration of our faith.

“Jesus, in his generosity, gave us the Eucharist to satisfy our hungry hearts. This gift cannot be taken for granted,” the bishop said.

He likened the sacred meal to a means of reckoning one’s direction on their spiritual journey via a series of waypoints.

“The Eucharist is a veritable GPS, God’s Positioning System,” he said.

In inaugurating the Year of Faith one year ago, on the Feast of Christ the King, now Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, said in his apostolic letter, Porta Fidei, that the occasion, which also marked the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, was a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world.”

As the year also marked the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the faithful were asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.

During the year of Faith, several evening presentations were offered in parishes and at Providence College, in which many of the Vatican II documents were studied and interpreted.

As an extension of their ministries, Father Ryan Connors, assistant pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Parish, East Greenwich, and Father Joseph Upton, assistant pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Wakefield, published in Rhode Island Catholic, a yearlong biweekly series of their reflections on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Father Connors said that the Year of Faith has been a wonderful gift to the church of two great popes, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

“It’s been wonderful to reflect on the gift of the Second Vatican Council and its authentic interpretation by the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Father Connors said of the opportunity he and Father Upton have had to review elements of the Catechism with those hungry to review the documents which form the basis of the way they practice their faith.

“You cannot love what you do not know, and this year has been a great gift to reflect on the light of faith in order that we can love Jesus more deeply,” he said.

Lisa M. Gulino, director of the Office of Evangelization and Faith Formation, said she is filled with thoughts of prayers and gratitude for the many people who came together over the past year to help bring about for the faithful a deeper understanding of Christ and his church.

In his final reflections on the Year of Faith, Bishop Tobin noted how it is crucial that the strength gained through the Eucharist must be channeled in a way that benefits God’s people.

“A Eucharist that does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented,” he said, quoting Emeritus Pope Benedict.

As a diocese, the love present within the Eucharist is manifested in the good works done by those who toil in the vineyard through its ministries, such as the Emmanuel House emergency shelter, the Keep the Heat On program and the newly established Cathedral Square Ministries, which was created to increase awareness of the wide range of assistance programs available through church ministries.

“These are not for us just good works, they are acts of faith,” Bishop Tobin said.“The Year of Faith will soon end, but our journey of faith continues all the way to the end of life.”

in collaboration with the diocesan Evangelization and Year of Faith subcommittees, opened Friday evening with a Mass, lively music designed to engage young people in a deeper expression of their faith and Eucharistic adoration.

Saturday morning began with an early-morning procession of the Blessed Sacrament from St. Pius V Church to nearby St. Dominic Chapel on the Providence College campus, followed by meditations and workshops offered in a number of areas, some offered in both English and Spanish.

A Holy Mass presided over by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin served to conclude the celebration of the Year of Faith in the diocese.

The bishop explained in his homily that the Eucharist, which served as the focal point of the diocesan congress, was a most appropriate symbol to represent the gathering.

“The Eucharist is the source and sign of our Catholic Faith. The church draws her very life from the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the heart and soul of what we do and believe as Catholics,” Bishop Tobin said, relating the view of Blessed John Paul II on the sacrament.

The bishop said that in addition to being a sacrament, the abiding presence of God, the Eucharist is also a spiritual meal and a celebration of our faith.

“Jesus, in his generosity, gave us the Eucharist to satisfy our hungry hearts. This gift cannot be taken for granted,” the bishop said.

He likened the sacred meal to a means of reckoning one’s direction on their spiritual journey via a series of waypoints.

“The Eucharist is a veritable GPS, God’s Positioning System,” he said.

In inaugurating the Year of Faith one year ago, on the Feast of Christ the King, now Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, said in his apostolic letter, Porta Fidei, that the occasion, which also marked the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, was a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world.”

As the year also marked the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the faithful were asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.

During the year of Faith, several evening presentations were offered in parishes and at Providence College, in which many of the Vatican II documents were studied and interpreted.

As an extension of their ministries, Father Ryan Connors, assistant pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Parish, East Greenwich, and Father Joseph Upton, assistant pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Wakefield, published in Rhode Island Catholic, a yearlong biweekly series of their reflections on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Father Connors said that the Year of Faith has been a wonderful gift to the church of two great popes, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

“It’s been wonderful to reflect on the gift of the Second Vatican Council and its authentic interpretation by the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Father Connors said of the opportunity he and Father Upton have had to review elements of the Catechism with those hungry to review the documents which form the basis of the way they practice their faith.

“You cannot love what you do not know, and this year has been a great gift to reflect on the light of faith in order that we can love Jesus more deeply,” he said.

Lisa M. Gulino, director of the Office of Evangelization and Faith Formation, said she is filled with thoughts of prayers and gratitude for the many people who came together over the past year to help bring about for the faithful a deeper understanding of Christ and his church.

In his final reflections on the Year of Faith, Bishop Tobin noted how it is crucial that the strength gained through the Eucharist must be channeled in a way that benefits God’s people.

“A Eucharist that does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented,” he said, quoting Emeritus Pope Benedict.

As a diocese, the love present within the Eucharist is manifested in the good works done by those who toil in the vineyard through its ministries, such as the Emmanuel House emergency shelter, the Keep the Heat On program and the newly established Cathedral Square Ministries, which was created to increase awareness of the wide range of assistance programs available through church ministries.

“These are not for us just good works, they are acts of faith,” Bishop Tobin said.

“The Year of Faith will soon end, but our journey of faith continues all the way to the end of life.”

Congress