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Year of Faith

The Vatican has published the full official calendar of events pertaining to the upcoming Year of Faith. Pope Benedict XVI has called the Year of Faith for several reasons:

to strengthen Catholics who goto Church;
to reach out to those who have left but still yearn for God in their lives,
to offer a response to those who are searching for meaning
and to help those who think they do not need God.

The Year itself begins on 11th October 2012 with a Mass presided by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square. It will be concelebrated by bishops and theologians who, like the Pope himself, served as members or experts at the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council.

Many of the Pope's traditional appointments, like the 25th January celebration marking the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the 2nd February Prayer with religious are incorporated into the Year of Faith.

But other events have been added such as the October 6th “Courtyard of the Gentiles” meeting in the town of Assisi which is seen as a prologue to the AnnusFidei with an encounter and dialogue between believers and non-believers on the theme of faith.

In our own diocese a special Conference is being held to launch the Year of Faith. This will take place in Thornhill College, Culmore Road, Derry on Saturday 13 October beginning at 9.30am. Anyone who plays a role in the life of this parish as reader, collector, cleaner etc, can obtain an enrolment form from the parish office before Wednesday 3 October.


Called to Contemplative Life? The Cistercian Community in Portglenone, Co. Antrim, will guide a weekend of vocation discernment for men who may feel they have a vocation to the contemplative monastic life. Dates: 2 –4 November. For more details telephone 25821211 or contact the Vocations Director on


The Marian Shrine, Knock, Co.Mayo.

The Story of Knock began on the 21st August 1879 when Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. The apparition was witnessed by fifteen people, young and old. From this miraculous Apparition Knock has grown to the status of an internationally recognised Marian Shrine.

The personal pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II in 1979, commemorating the centenary of the apparition, inspired an even greater devotion to the Shrine and endorsed the indelible seal of Vatican approval. Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited the Shrine in June of 1993. One and a half million pilgrims visit the Shrine annually.

Lough Derg has been offering One Day Retreats since 1992. These appeal largely to older people, especially those no longer able to make the traditional Three-Day Pilgrimage, and to those who for reasons of health or disability, have never been able to visit Lough Derg.

Booking essential. 00353719861518.

“Let us go to some lonely place where we can be all by ourselves and rest for a while.”


Melmount Parish (STRABANE) : 41 Melmount Road, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, BT82 9EF. Tel : 028 7138 3777 (+44)