Archbishop Rino Fisichella and Monsignor Graham Bell, respectively president and under secretary of the new evangelization council, also presented the Web site for the year.
"In his Apostolic Letter 'Porta fidei' Benedict XVI speaks ... of the need to rediscover the journey of faith so as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ," the archbishop said. "For this reason he called the Year of Faith, which will also coincide with two anniversaries: the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Vatican Council II and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. ... The Year of Faith aims, above all, to support the faith of believers who, in their daily trials, never cease to entrust to entrust their lives to the Lord Jesus, with courage and conviction. Their precious testimony, which does not make the news, ... is what enables the Church to present herself to the world today, as she did in the past, supported by the strength of the faith and the enthusiasm of ordinary people.
"The Year of Faith," Archbishop Fisichella added, "falls into a broader context which is characterized by a generalized crisis that also touches the faith. ... The crisis of faith is a dramatic expression of an anthropological crisis which has abandoned man to his own devices. We must overcome the spiritual poverty affecting so many of our contemporaries who do no longer perceive the absence of God from their lives as a void that needs to be filled. The Year of Faith, then, is an opportunity which the Christian community offers to the many people who feel nostalgia for God and who desire to rediscover Him."
The archbishop announced that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has approved the formula for a special "Mass for New Evangelization." This, he said, is a sign that during the Year of Faith "priority will be given to prayer, and especially to the Eucharist as source and summit of all Christian life".
The president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization then went on to present the logo of the Year of Faith in which the image of a ship symbolizes the Church. The mast of the vessel is a cross with full-blown sails which form the monogram of Christ (IHS) and in the background is a sun representing the Eucharist. The Web site of the event is available in various languages and can be consulted by smartphone and tablet. The Year also has an official hymn entitled: "Credo, Domine, adauge nobis fidem." A multilingual pastoral guide entitled "Living the Year of Faith" is due to be published in early September and pilgrims will receive an image of the Christ from the cathedral of Cefalu in Sicily, with the Creed written on the back.
Finally Archbishop Fisichella turned his attention to the most important events of the Year of Faith, those to be celebrated in Rome in the presence of the Holy Father: These include:
-- the opening of the year on Oct. 11, with a solemn Eucharistic celebration concelebrated by the Synod Fathers, the presidents of the world's episcopal conferences and by Council Fathers who are still alive.
-- the Oct. 21 canonization of seven martyrs, including Kateri Tekakwitha and Marianne Cope.
-- Jan. 25, 2013, during the traditional ecumenical celebration at the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, participants will pray that, "through their joint profession of the Symbol, Christians ... may not forget the path of unity."
-- April 28, 2013, the Holy Father will impart the Sacrament of Confirmation to a group of young people
-- May 18, 2013, the eve of Pentecost, Catholic movements, both old and new, will gather in St. Peter's Square.
-- on June 2, 2013, Corpus Christi, the Blessed Sacrament will be adored at the same time all over the world.
-- June 16 will be dedicated to the Gospel of Life.
-- on July 7, seminarians and novices from all over the world will conclude a pilgrimage by gathering in St. Peter's Square.
-- September 29 will be dedicated to catechists on the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
-- Oct. 13 will focus on the presence of Mary in the Church
-- Finally, the closing celebration of the Year of Faith will take place on 24 November 2013.