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Papal Bull

Tradition dictates that each Jubilee is proclaimed through the publication of a Papal (or Pontifical) ‘Bull of Indiction’. By ‘Bull’ is meant an official document, generally written in Latin, bearing the seal of the Pope, the shape of which gives its name to the document itself.

In the past the seal was usually made of lead and bore, on the front, the image of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, founders of the Church of Rome, and, on the back, the name of the current Pontiff. Later an ink stamp replaced the metal seal, which, however, continued to be used for more important documents.

Each Bull is identified by its initial words. For example, Saint John Paul II proclaimed the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 with the Bull Incarnationis Mysterium (The Mystery of the Incarnation), while Pope Francis proclaimed the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (2015-2016) with the Bull Misericordiae vultus (The face of mercy).

The Bull announcing the Jubilee, which indicates the dates of the beginning and end of the Holy Year, is usually issued the previous year, coinciding with the Solemnity of the Ascension. For the 2025 Jubilee, publication was published on May 9, 2024.

 

 

We Dare to Say

As we approach Lent in this Year of Prayer, the Department for Adult Education and Evangelisation has professionally printed copies of We Dare to Say – a resource for small group faith-sharing and for individual meditation, featuring five sessions each based on a line from the Lord’s Prayer. Each session includes scripture, prayers, and a reflection with questions. And as the Lord’s Prayer is something we share with our Christian sisters and brothers of other traditions, this resource is a good option for starting an ecumenical prayer group.

If you would like a copy, just to cover our printing costs we are charging £1 per booklet (plus postage). Experience suggests that many people prefer to obtain a professionally printed booklet containing this full set of reflections and artwork, we hope this booklet can be used for years to come. If you are interested our bacs details are: Sort Code: 52-10-03; Acct number: 66827949; Account name: Clifton Diocese; Ref: ‘WeDare’ plus your initials. Please email adult.education@cliftondiocese.com to confirm that you paid, as well as providing the number of books, name, and postal address.

 

Prayer Resources

During this Year of Prayer, Pope Francis calls each of us to refresh and renew our relationship with Jesus through our prayer lives.

Fr Tom Dubois, parish priest from the Taunton Vale Catholics parishes, spoke in 2023 during the Faith Full Journey series on A Life of Ministry Rooted In Prayer. Fr Tom’s approach to prayer seeks God in the depths and longings of one’s heart, and is one fruitful way which might help you to delve deeper into your own prayer life.

If you’re interested in seeing the other talks we ran, we have the series of recordings on our Faith Full Journey page.

Pope Francis has decreed that 2025 will be a Jubilee, with the theme “Pilgrims of Hope.” But what, exactly, is a jubilee, and why does the Church periodically celebrate them? What about the “2024 Year of Prayer,” or all those documents from the Second Vatican Council?

Here are the slides from the 1 February webinar presentation. The video will be uploaded soon. The presentation introduces the jubilee year, providing context for the current three-year programme (2023 – Year of the Council, 2024 – Year of Prayer, 2025 Jubilee – Pilgrims of Hope), as well as background for jubilees – how they originated, their role in Scripture, and how jubilees have been used in the Church.

It concludes by exploring the theme that Pope Francis chose, Pilgrims of Hope, and how Clifton Diocese can journey together over the next few years towards this great celebration.

JUBILEE YEAR 2025

Pope Francis has announced that the Church will celebrate a Jubilee Year in 2025, with the theme of “Pilgrims of Hope.”  In addition to the jubilee year itself, Pope Francis announced that there would be two years dedicated to helping people prepare for the 2025 celebrations.

2023 – The Year of the Council

The Second Vatican Council emphasised the universal call to holiness. Pope Francis called on all Catholics to return to the four Constitutions of the council – Sacrosanctum Concilium, Dei Verbum, Lumen Gentium, and Gaudium et Spes. Scroll down on this page to find resources to help you dive deeper into the constitutions. There are videos of expert theologian guiding you through each of the constitutions, as well as introductions and reflection questions to help you reflect on the themes within them. Links to the full constitution documents are also provided.

2024 – The Year of Prayer

Pope Francis has called on all Catholics to spend this year, beginning with the First Sunday of Advent on 3 December 2023, deepening their prayer lives. This page will be updated regularly with resources and suggestions to support you as you seek to encounter Jesus in your prayer life.

SACROSANCTUM CONCILLIUM:

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy                              .

DEI VERBUM:

The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation                                    .

LUMEN GENTIUM:

The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church

GAUDIUM ET SPES:

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World             .

Sacrosanctum Concillium:

 

 

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
with Fr. Tim Menezes

Sacrosanctum Concilium is the Vatican II document on the liturgy, the public prayer of the Church. It was the first major document to be written at Vatican II in November 1963. In the first 20 paragraphs of this document, you will see that the liturgy is always infused with hope. It is a prayer of the Trinity. It is the priestly prayer of Jesus Christ. And we are called to fully conscious and active participation whenever we gather for the liturgy.
As Fr. Tim reminds us in his opening remarks of the video, anyone under the age of 65 is unlikely to be aware of how the liturgy was celebrated before Vatican II because they will not have experienced it and so making comparisons is neither easy nor particularly necessary. However, it is good to reflect on what we do experience on a weekly basis. In what ways does the celebration of our Mass inspire us? How does it continue to transform us as we participate in the Paschal Mystery of Christ?

Reflecting on Sacrosanctum Concilium will deepen our understanding of the Liturgy and, as Fr. Tim tells us, help us come to appreciate fully the truth of the Liturgy as an act of glorifying God.

Full video can be found here: Sacrosanctum Concilium

Full resource for this section: Jubilee 2025 – Sacrosanctum Concilium Section

Full document of Sacrosanctum Concilium here: Sacrosanctum concilium (vatican.va)

Q. In what ways does the Liturgy you celebrate each Sunday enable you to Glorify God? What are the positives of your Sunday celebration? What could be better?

Q2. Do you remember the liturgy prior to Vatican II? If so, what do you remember in particular?

Q3. Listening to Fr. Tim, what strikes you about the activity of the Liturgy as celebrated since Vatican II? What part do we play? What part does Scripture play?

Dei verbum:

 

 

The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation
with Sr. Hyacinthe Defos Du Rau OP

How can we know anything about God with certainty? Why should we trust what the Church tells us about God? How do we make sense of the Bible? The answer to these three questions is in this very short document called Dei Verbum.

God Speaks to Us

In this beautiful, short but very rich document the Church helps us to understand that God speaks to us personally. It explains how God speaks to us and why God would want to speak to us. In essence Dei Verbum is about Divine Revelation – how God willed us into being and chose to reveal God’s self to us. At the very heart, the Word of God is given to us. It is not something that the Church did. As Sr. Hyacinthe tells us we have received the Word as a gift. God chose to reveal God’s self to us, to ‘speak to humanity’. He chose to do this in a particular way.

Full document of Sacrosanctum Concilium here: Dei verbum (vatican.va)

Full video can be found here: Dei Verbum

Full resource for this section: Jubilee 2025 – Dei Verbum Section

Full document of Sacrosanctum Concilium here: Dei verbum (vatican.va)

Q1. What strikes you about how Sr. Hyacinthe has introduced this document to us?

Q2. What is your understanding of how God reveals himself to us?

Q3. When and where do you hear the voice of God most clearly?

Lumen Gentium:

 

The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
with Fr. Jan Nowotnik

The Light of the Nations – The Mystery of the Church
The Introduction to Lumen Gentium teaches us that the Church is a mystery imbued with the hidden presence of God. The Church is a sacrament – a sign to the world of Jesus Christ.
The primary role of the Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ – so that all may have an opportunity to receive Christ.

Chapters two to six of the Constitution provide a picture of the Church rooted in our identity as the People of God. Each different group – priests, bishops, laity and religious has their own role to play in the mission that Christ has given us.

Generally, we tend not to speak about holiness in relation to ourselves, but Lumen Gentium teaches us that we are call called to holiness. Holiness is not reserved to the saints or those who give a lifelong commitment to the Church, such as priests and religious. All of us are called to holiness in the very different ways we live our Christian life.

Full video can be found here: Lumen Gentium – Light of Nations

Full resource for this section: Jubilee 2025 Lumen Gentium section

Full document of Sacrosanctum Concilium here: Lumen gentium (vatican.va)

Q1. How has your thinking about Church changed after listening to Fr. Jan?

Q2. How might we be an efficacious sign of God’s presence to the local community in which we live?

Q3. How do we understand ‘The Body of Christ’ and in what ways are we being called to be the Body of Christ?

Gaudium et Spes:

 

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World
with Mary McCaughey

Gaudium et Spes is the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World from the Second Vatican Council. The words Gaudium et Spes mean the joys and the hopes. The document is trying to remind Catholics that they can be open to the world, to dialogue with the world, because the joys, hopes and the sorrows of human beings are of their concern.
Gaudium et Spes is a pertinent document because it addresses the entire human family, regardless of religious affiliation or none. Despite the fact that it was written in 1965, the thrust of it is very relevant to our own times, continually calling the whole Church to enter into and maintain a dialogue with the whole human family. The goal of Gaudium et Spes is to shed light on the human mystery and seeks to contribute to the solutions required to solve contemporary problems.

As Mary McCaughey comments in her opening remarks of the video, the document has been described as having a ‘positive openness’. She goes on to say that it answers the question ‘why’ and also the question ‘how’ should the Church be interested in the modern world? The why relates to the fact that the world is God’s creation and is good – whatever goes on in the world, God does not and never will abandon it. This is the world into which Christ came to redeem and to break the power of sin. We are called, therefore, to be open to the world, even if that doesn’t mean embracing everything that the world offers.

Full video can be found here Gaudium et Spes – Joy and Hope

Full resource for this section: Jubilee 2025 Gaudium et Spes section

Full document of Sacrosanctum Concilium here: Gaudium et spes (vatican.va)

Q1. Given that the document is as relevant today as it was in 1965, what are the signs in our own times and how are we being asked to respond today?

Q2. The title of the Document means joys and hopes – what are the joys and hopes that we encounter in our world today?

Q3. What are those things which cause us to be anxious – that cause us spiritual uneasiness?