Saturday, February 18, 2006

Latest Cardinal's Column - Feb 19, 2006

Finding the face of Christ: What kind of year will 2006 be?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

After the Year of the Eucharist in 2005, the bishops and priests of the Archdiocese have called for a Year of Evangelization in 2006. Evangelization, conversion to Christ in his Body the Church, is the constant purpose and mission of the Church; but this year a special emphasis will be put on re-thinking how this might be done in the parishes. As special events, Father Robert Barron of Mundelein Seminary will lead an Archdiocesan mission with public homilies and added opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Festival of Faith in February has as its general theme the New Evangelization. Many parishes will find their own way to implement the Archdiocesan evangelization guide, “Spreading the Holy Fire.”

A year of evangelization means a year of conversion. I have begun to add some extra time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament to my own daily schedule in order to ask God’s forgiveness for the sin of sexual abuse of minors. In this time before the Lord, I try to bring to mind, besides the many victims I have personally met and prayed with in recent years, all those who might not have yet come forward and the many more victims who are suffering silently in our society. Prayer for our own complete conversion to Christ and for the conversion of the world must become part of a year of evangelization in our homes and in the parishes.

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