martedì, settembre 25, 2012


From Baghdad, a website in Arabic dedicated to the Year of Faith

By Baghdadhope*

There is less than a month left to 11 October 2012, the day that will mark the beginning of the Year of Faith which will end on November 24, 2013. From the Vatican website dedicated to the event we learn that the starting day was chosen by Pope Benedict XVI to commemorate two important anniversaries: 50 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council and 20 since the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
In the site there is everything the faithful need to attend the event, spiritually and materially, from Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter of promulgation of the Year of Faith, to documents and a list of the related events. All in Italian, English and Spanish.
The Iraqi faithful and in general the Arabic speaking one can then know everything about this important event but will also improve their knowledge by reading another web site created, as explained on its home page, by the Catholic clergy in Baghdad.
The site, called "بغداد الإيمان" Baghdad Al Īmān, which literally means "Baghdad of the Faith" is led by a committee, commissioned by the Council of Catholic Bishops, and is chaired by the Syriac Catholic bishop of Baghdad, Ephrem Yousef Abba, and managed by nuns, priests and lay people who also have the task of organizing the various events associated with the Year of Faith.
On September 10 the Committee gathered to fix some of the most important dates to spiritually unite the Iraqi Christian community to that of the whole world: the opening of the Year of Faith will be celebrated on October 12 with a Mass in the Chaldean Cathedral of Saint Joseph while the closing Mass will be held on November 22, 2013, in the Armenian Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Flowers. In this same church on December 14 there will be a concert that will be repeated on April 19, 2013, in the Syriac Catholic Church of Mar Benham. On the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on January 18, 2013 there will be an ecumenical meeting in the Syriac Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation, the church that in 2010 was the scene of the most horrendous massacre of Christians in Iraq. A prayer meeting will be held on March 21 in the Latin Church of St. Joseph while, this time in the Chaldean church dedicated to the same saint, from 26 to 28 September 2013 there will be a conference dedicated to the catechists that will have as its central subject the “Year of Faith” and will be organized by the Commission of the Catechism of Baghdad.

Already on September 28, however, the Iraqi faithful will begin a path of preparation for the event and they will do it by addressing to the young, hope of the future. That day, in the Chaldean Church of the Sacred Heart there will be a prayer meeting that will end with a conference held by the Chaldean parish priest of St. Paul's Church, Father Albert Hisham, entitled: "The Door of Faith: vocation and mission".

Baghdadhope asked to Father Hisham about the subject of his report and whether he thinks if and how the stated aim of the Year of Faith as expressed by the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, Mgr. Rino Fisichella, “to support the faith of believers who, in their daily trials, never cease to entrust their lives to the Lord Jesus, with courage and conviction" will touch the Iraqi Christian community.
"The difficulty in believing in Iraq and throughout the Middle East is different from that felt in Europe,"
said Father Hisham, "we have to deal mainly with the challenge of emigration as a result of political and social changes; the emigration that threatens to empty the region of its Christians.
Therein lies the importance of the Year of Faith in Iraq: to try to strengthen the faith of its Christian keeping it alive so that it can light up the Iraqi society. In a country that has changed so fast like Iraq we must go back to seek the help of faith, the source of our life, and try to live it in spite of the many difficulties that we face every day. We hope and we are confident that the Year of Faith will help us in this return to that source."

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