Year of Faith opens
By Frank Flegel
REGINA — A theatrical production masquerading as a religious celebration held Oct. 11 in Holy Rosary Cathedral officially began the Year of Faith celebrations in the Regina archdiocese. The production was scripted by the Archdiocesan Liturgical Committee, directed by committee chair Rev. Ron Andree and featured prayer, liturgical readings, music, symbols of the Catholic faith and included a dramatic revelation of the face of Christ by some members of the Archdiocesan Youth Leadership Team led by archdiocesan youth co-ordinator Michelle Braden.
The celebration began with several hundred people in the church asked to gather outside on a chilly evening with the front doors closed. With Crozier in hand, Archbishop Daniel Bohan knocked on the closed doors and asked, “Let the doors of faith be opened for us.”
The doors were opened from the inside by cathedral rector Rev. Lorne Crozon with the words, “Baptism is our door of faith. The door of faith has been opened for us and ushers us into a life of communion with God and with his church.”
The baptismal font had been placed in the centre aisle and people were asked as they re-entered the cathedral to cross themselves with the water, symbolically renewing their baptism.
When everyone had settled, Bohan explained why the Holy Father had established a Year of Faith. Quoting from the letter Porta Fidei (the Door of Faith) which accompanied the promulgation of the Year of Faith, the archbishop said this is a “time of profound change,” a time when Christians can no longer “think of the faith as a self-evident presupposition in our society. To a greater extent than in the past, faith is now being subjected to a series of questions arising from a changed mentality which, especially today, limits the field of rational certainties to that of scientific and technological discoveries.”
Deacon Mau Paul Nguyen read from the Gospel according to Matthew followed by individuals slowly moving up the centre aisle carrying symbols: salt, light and the Word. They were placed below the main altar and a loaf of bread and grapes were placed on the eucharistic altar in the alcove to the right. The cathedral choir performed Exultate Justi during this activity. The band Revelations performed Turn Around by Matt Maher, at the end of which the congregation was asked to turn around and face the back of the church where the face of Christ dramatically appeared as black paint applied by youth on a huge white pallet was wiped away by a senior member of the youth leadership team.
Several readings followed and symbols of the Apostles’ Creed and the Catechism of the Catholic Church were also placed on display by archdiocesan religious education personnel. A series of processions took place up the centre aisle by individuals and groups representing youth, religious men and women of different cultural backgrounds, the apostles, Mary, the disciples, martyrs, consecrated men and women and countless Christians all accompanied by the haunting notes of a Native flute played by Anita Holtvoght. The celebration ended with everyone reciting the Apostles’ Creed.