Growing in Faith


Porta Fidei (door of faith), is the title of the Apostolic Letter in which Pope Benedict XVI announces the Year of Faith. The title is taken from Acts 14:27 in the Bible, in which we are told the door of faith is always open for us.

The door of faithThe Holy Father repeats this message of encouragement. He invites us to reestablish our approach to faith, and reminds us that the door of faith remains open. Such a door never shuts anyone in, or shuts anyone out. Instead, it provides the possibility of freedom. Faith in Christ transforms our understanding of the world. Faith sets us free.

By freely accepting the Holy Father's invitation to re-explore and rediscover our faith during the coming months, we can then enter more deeply into the mystery of God's love. To do so, Pope Benedict tells us we must entrust ourselves fully to God so that His grace can transform us. This means allowing our hearts to be receptive to the Word of God, sensitive to the movement of His will in our lives, and open to the needs of others.


In the Diocese of Westminster the Year of Faith will be divided into four seasons which mirror the pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which celebrates its 20th anniversary in the Year of Faith.
The first season, between now and Christmas, focuses on faith in God and in Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh.

The second season, between Christmas and Easter, will look at the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The third season from Easter to summer 2013 will look at the practice of faith in moral living and generous giving.
The final season from September to November 2013 will look at prayer and spirituality.
Within the four seasons, on named Sundays parishes across the Diocese will be asked to preach on a particular subject. Priests will be given sample homilies that may be used or adapted for use in their parish on these highlighted Sundays. As well as the homilies, sheets containing additional information and further reading will be made available to every parish for parishioners to take home with them. The sample homilies will be available for download once the highlighted Sunday has passed, the handouts will be uploaded as soon as they are written.

The named Sundays and topics are:
14 October 2012 - What is faith?
What is Faith? homily (123KB) and parish handout featuring additional reading (827KB). 

2 December 2012 - The person of Jesus Christ
Person of Christ homily (155KB) and parish handout featuring additional reading (632KB).

20 January 2013 -The Sacraments in general
Sacraments homily (173KB) and parish handout featuring additional reading (750KB).

3 March 2013 - Reconciliation
Reconciliation homily (123KB) and parish handout featuring additional reading (826KB).

28 April 2013- Caritas
Caritas homily (129KB) and parish handout featuring additional reading (660KB).

23 June 2013- Moral Life
Moral Life homily (97KB) and parish handout featuring additional reading (810KB).

8 September 2013- Prayer I
First prayer homily (126KB) and parish handout featuring additional reading (811KB).

20 October 2013- Prayer II
Second prayer homily and parish handout featuring additional reading (708KB).

Porta Fidei

We are all encouraged to read Porta Fidei as part of our preparations for the Year of Faith. The letter and pastoral recommendations can be found on the Vatican’s Year of Faith website: