faith | service | social justice

Communiqué #05 – Faith

Jan 10, 2024 | By Position, By Year, Communiques, Faith, Faith, In the News, Media, News Releases

Rolande Chernichan, National Chairperson of Faith, January 10, 2024

FOR: Chairpersons of Faith at All Levels (new structure) and Chairpersons of Spiritual Development at All Levels (old structure)


ATT: Faith and Spiritual Development Online Resources 

Pilgrims of Hope—The Jubilee Prayer 

“The Church learns gratitude from the Virgin Mary. And she also learns hope.  

One would think that God chose her, Mary of Nazareth,  

because in her heart He saw His own hope reflected.  

That which He Himself had infused into her with His Spirit.  

Mary has always been filled with love, filled with grace,  

and is therefore also filled with trust and hope….  

The Christian, like Mary, is a pilgrim of hope” (Pope Francis). 

Liturgical Year B, begun in Advent, bridges the League into 2024, a new calendar year. Both provide opportunities for fresh starts and for councils and members to plan with purpose and hope. 

Pope Francis has dedicated 2024 as the Year of Prayer in preparation for Jubilee 2025 under the theme, Pilgrims of Hope. Councils are encouraged to consult the Vatican website about the tradition and significance of a jubilee year and to join in prayerful preparation for Jubilee 2025, which the pope will inaugurate with the rite of opening the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in Advent 2024. To prepare, the pope has invited the faithful to study and reflect on the four constitutions of Vatican II and the meaning of these documents for the life of the church today. The Jubilee Prayer is attached for sharing and praying in preparation for the jubilee pilgrimage. 

The Handbook for Chairpersons of Faith, Service and Social Justice advises, “Each new year, or at least each new term, should bring with it the opportunity to re-examine what the council is doing and where its energies and resources are going.” Guided by members’ interests and the charisms of the council, the chairperson of faith plans spiritual programs with the spiritual advisor’s guidance. The Liturgical Calendar for Year B is an excellent resource for daily mass readings, solemnities, special feasts, memorials of saints, etc. The spiritual program for a council’s monthly meeting can be an occasion to highlight a particular saint’s life, study Catholic teaching, and discuss scripture in small groups, supplemented by communal prayer. The implementation committee working groups have developed several resources and a prayer service planning workshop to assist chairpersons of faith. Attached is a list of faith resources available on the League’s website. Also included are links to resources for spiritual advisors, which should be shared with them. 

Chairpersons are encouraged to share the synodal synthesis document with members and to encourage the reading and study of it. The document summarizes the first session of the synodal assembly held in October 2023. It is divided into three parts, and its 20 chapters capture “the main elements that emerged in the dialogue, prayer and discussion” and the richness of the “experience of listening, of silence and sharing, and of prayer” of the participants who will reassemble in October 2024 to complete their journey. Chairpersons should consider studying and discussing the chapter titled “Women in the Life and Mission of the Church” as part of a spiritual program at a monthly meeting of members. 

One of the responsibilities of chairpersons of faith is to advance ecumenical and interfaith endeavours. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a universal week of prayer (January 18-25) in which Christians of all denominations are encouraged to pray and participate in activities and gatherings that foster unity and an understanding of ecumenism. Consider inviting women from another local church to your monthly meeting and to share in prayer and fellowship. 

In February, the church celebrates the World Day for Consecrated Life (February 2nd), the World Day of the Sick (February 11th) and the beginning of the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday (February 14th). Planning the spiritual program for your monthly meeting can be done with these special days in mind. Why not invite your spiritual advisor or a consecrated woman religious to be a guest speaker at your meeting to share about their call to the religious life? What spiritual activity might your council lead during Lent in your parish?  

In a continued spirit of ecumenism, councils may want to take the lead in ordering resources and inviting other Christian women to join in planning an event for the World Day of Prayer (March 1st). The ongoing war in the Holy Land is an occasion to pray for peace and to join “an ecumenical group of Palestinian Christian women [who] have prayed and reflected together over the past several years to respond to the invitation to write the 2024 program. Their theme is I Beg You… Bear With One Another in Love, based on Ephesians 4:1-7. This program calls us to bear with each other in love, despite all difficulties and oppression.”  

On the invitation of Pope Francis in preparation for Jubilee 2025, Catholics have begun an entire year devoted to prayer. The Holy Father reminds us, “… what better teacher could we have than our Holy Mother? Let us place ourselves in her school: let us learn from her how to live every day, every moment, every occupation with the inner gaze turned towards Jesus. Joys and sufferings, satisfactions and problems. All in the presence of and with the grace of Jesus, the Lord. All with gratitude and hope.”  

Rolande Chernichan 

National Chairperson of Faith