USCCB: pray, fast that students be educated in the fullness of the faith
January 31, 2014
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, January 31, for the following intention: “that we can continue to educate students in the fullness of our Catholic faith.”
In a reflection that accompanied the intention, USCCB staff noted:
In his proclamation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis praises the efforts of Catholic schools and charities that promote peace, social harmony, and the protection of human and civil rights. He states, "Yet, we find it difficult to make people see that when we raise other questions less palatable to public opinion, we are doing so out of fidelity to precisely the same convictions about human dignity and the common good." The role of Catholic schools, the Holy Father emphasizes, is to remain in dialogue with the formative teachings of the Church. In this way, all the sciences are embedded with Catholic theology, and these disciplines become instruments "for enlightening and renewing the world.". . .
In his address to trustees of the University of Notre Dame on Thursday, Pope Francis explained, "Essential…is the uncompromising witness of Catholic universities to the Church's moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors."
In light of Catholic Schools Week, let us remember the role of Catholic schools in striving to proclaim the Gospel message in all areas of study through first knowing and loving Christ."
In December 2012, the US bishops announced a call to prayer and penance whose “overall focus is to invite Catholics to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty. Campaign components include monthly Eucharistic holy hours in cathedrals and parishes, daily family rosary, special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses, fasting and abstinence on Fridays, and the second observance of a Fortnight for Freedom.”
This campaign was originally scheduled to end with the conclusion of the Year of Faith, but at their November 2013 meeting, the bishops voted to extend it indefinitely.
The Friday prayer and fasting intentions change weekly; the link below describes how to receive the intentions in advance, typically on the afternoon of the previous day.