Gearing up for Year of Faith


By Barb Arland-Fye

Bishop Amos

Options for celebrating Year of Faith in the Diocese of Davenport are plentiful, from prayer services and small group discussions to conferences and adult faith formation. Year of Faith is a worldwide celebration that begins Oct. 11 on the 50th anniversary of the opening of Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The year concludes Nov. 24, 2013, on the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King. Pope Benedict XVI envisions this focus on faith as a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world.” (Porta fidei 6).
In the Davenport Diocese the celebration begins on the vigil, with a service of prayer and reflection Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. in Christ the King Chapel on St. Ambrose University’s campus in Davenport. Bishop Martin Amos will lead the service. Providing reflections will be: St. Ambrose Professor Corinne Winter of the theology department on the Council’s vision of the role of the laity; Deacon Frank Agnoli, the diocese’s director of liturgy, on the renewal of the liturgy; St. Ambrose President Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, on renewal of religious life; Pastor Richard Priggie, chaplain of Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., on ecumenical dialogue, and Rabbi Tamar Grimm from Tri-City Jewish Center in Rock Island, on interfaith understanding. All are welcome to the free service which offers a means of celebrating a milestone in Church history and praying for continual renewal in each of these areas, said Father Chuck Adam, St. Ambrose’s director of campus ministry.
During last month’s annual Parish Corporate Board meeting, Bishop Amos asked that each of the diocese’s six deaneries (or regions) schedule a liturgy or event that would bring him to each deanery. “The Year of Faith is intended for all of us to develop a real appreciation for what it means to be Church,” Bishop Amos told parishes’ leaders during the meeting. “It’s important for all of us to take this opportunity to deepen our faith.”
Details about other liturgies and events will be published in The Catholic Mess­en­ger as they become available. Meanwhile, here is a synopsis of what’s happening in the diocese during Year of Faith:
• “Celebrating Vatican II: Sharing the Vision,” a four-part lecture series hosted by the Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley. The series serves as a gift to the public during this Year of Faith, the Sisters said. Professor Richard Gaillardetz of Boston College will give the first lecture Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. in St. Ambrose University’s Rogalski Center. He will address “What Happened at Vatican II? Keys to Understanding the Council.”


• “Vatican II at 50” workshop: Oct. 23, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Patrick Church, Iowa City. Presenter Bill Huebsch is author of “Vatican II in Plain English.” “Bill will revisit with us the outcomes of Vatican II and suggest ways in which each of us in our parishes and in the diocese can renew the vision and spirit of Vatican II,” said Mary Wieser, director of faith formation for the Davenport Diocese. Cost is $12 (includes lunch). For reservations, contact Barbara Butterworth by email at or by phone at (563) 324-1911.
• “Living Catholic” is an adult faith formation program intended to help Catholics “deepen their knowledge of and love for their faith so they can share it with others,” Wieser said. The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., developed the program in partnership with “My Catholic Faith Delivered.” The program includes opening and closing sessions at parishes, with four weeks of online learning based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. “‘Living Catholic’ is an opportunity to learn the central elements of our faith in an accessible and engaging manner, and we invite you to be a part of this exciting web-based program,” Wieser said. The Davenport Diocese’s website www.daven includes a link to the “Living Catholic” website. The program’s online learning component, which includes videos, narration, prayers and opportunities for interactive sharing of the faith, goes live for diocesan participants Oct. 11.
• Video clips of faith on YouTube of Catholics of all ages and backgrounds. These brief segments will appear on the diocesan and Catholic Messenger websites. If you would like to share your faith story, send an email to or call (563) 888-4246.
• DVDs of the late Bishop Gerald O’Keefe reflecting on the Second Vatican Council, which he attended as an auxiliary bishop of the St. Paul/Minneapolis Archdiocese before becoming bishop of the Davenport Diocese.

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