Anne Reid, Mercy Associate, narrates an account of the last days and death of Venerable Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.
In the context of this Year of Faith, we will look at the great moments of Faith in Catherine’s life and learn from her, the exemplar par excellence. She imitated Jesus with all her heart and exhorted her sisters, ‘Our Divine Saviour’s example should be always before us, especially when we exercise charity towards our neighbour, and, above all, to those united with us.’ This is her legacy to us and we emulate her when we can honestly say with her, ‘What a consolation to serve Jesus Christ Himself, in the person of the poor, and to walk in the very same path He trod.’
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With his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011, Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI declared that a Year of Faith would begin on October 11, 2012. This date coincides with the 50th anniversary of the commencement of Vatican 11, and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the‘Catechism of the Catholic Church.’ The Year will finish on November 24, 2013.
The upcoming Year of Faith is a ‘summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world.’ (Porta Fidei 6). He sees it as an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with Him.
The door of faith is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew this relationship with Christ and His Church. The Year of Faith calls us to a rediscovery of the Faith and to New Evangelization i.e. the sharing and witness of our wonderful gift of Faith with each other.
During the occasion of the Bi-centenary Celebration of the Birth of Venerable Catherine McAuley in 1978, Mr. Jim Cantwell, Chief Press Officer, stated ‘Catherine’s down-to-earth witness to Gospel values was inspired by a deep faith.’