A message to bishops, and from there, the whole Church:
8. On this happy occasion, I wish to invite my brother bishops from all over the world to join the Successor of Peter, during this time of spiritual grace that the Lord offers us, in recalling the precious gift of faith. We want to celebrate this Year in a worthy and fruitful manner. Reflection on the faith will have to be intensified, so as to help all believers in Christ to acquire a more conscious and vigorous adherence to the Gospel, especially at a time of profound change such as humanity is currently experiencing. We will have the opportunity to profess our faith in the Risen Lord in our cathedrals and in the churches of the whole world; in our homes and among our families, so that everyone may feel a strong need to know better and to transmit to future generations the faith of all times. Religious communities as well as parish communities, and all ecclesial bodies old and new, are to find a way, during this Year, to make a public profession of the Credo.
Naturally, the Holy Father wants the Year of Faith to be a fruitful endeavor. I think he touches on some benchmarks: a more intense reflection, centered in churches and homes, as well as among different groups of people, developing motivation for knowing and sharing the Faith in the laity. And this “public profession” of faith–in religious communities, parishes, and “all ecclesial bodies,” which I presume would include hierarchical institutions.
In the posts to follow this week, sections 9 through 13 of the document, Pope Benedict goes into some detail as to what sorts of activities, attitudes, and initiatives will be suggested in the Year of Faith. I’ll suggest some, also. I encourage your suggestions, too.