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Year of Learning

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King marks the closing of the Year of Faith, which celebrated 50 years since the opening of Vatican II and 20 years since the release of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The occasion will be marked at the Hong Kong Stadium and the bishop will launch a Year of Learning to run through 2014.

The diocese has a history of setting up a pastoral direction each year. Some have picked up universal themes like the Year of the Eucharist, the Marian Year or the Year of Priests, but others have been local, like the upcoming Year of Learning.

The annual theme is intended especially to help parish pastoral teams plan with a unified pastoral direction.

Both universal and diocesan approaches are to help people make more sense of their faith in the context of their daily lives.

When declaring the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI stated clearly in The Door to Faith (Porta Fidei), “The Year of Faith is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Saviour of the world. In the mystery of his death and resurrection, God has revealed in its fullness the Love that saves and calls us to conversion of life through the forgiveness of sins” (cf. Acts 5:31).

In response to the Year of Faith, the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, pointed out that to become disciples of Our Lord and to effectively transmit our Christian faith to others, our lives should be transformed by Christ.

He explained that we have to learn humility from Jesus Christ up to the stage of self-emptying, continue to improve our spiritual lives and, since this process is not easy, we need the grace of God and the support of faith groups.

Both are directly urging people to renew their personal faith life. Pope Benedict calls it an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one saviour of the world.

Faith formation is a long path which requires full commitment and life-long learning. Local activities during the Year of Faith got strong support from people. However, an event is just a door to renewal. Real renewal and conversion implies a 100 per cent full-time response.

Pope Francis once said that there is no such thing as a part-time Christian. In the gospel, Jesus replied to a scholar of the law in this way, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

Christianity does not have leeway to bargain. Rather, a Christian must spare no effort with unswerving loyalty.

When the Year of Faith closes, the Year of Learning begins. A special diocesan task force will plan a series of activities to encourage more learning, which involves the documents of Vatican II and the catechism.


We hope that after reflection and serious identification, people will choose topics that suit their own needs. More importantly, they will continue to deepen in their hearts what they have learned, so that their inner self is willing to follow Christ, and allow Christ to transform bad habits and ways of living, so as to be more loyal to the call to follow Christ. SE