Jubilee 2000 Search


A programme to put into action «Tertio Millennio Adveniente»

The Bishops' Conference of the United States has published in English and Spanish, a «manual» to guide pastoral operators and the faithful to put into action Tertio Millennio Adveniente and in the preparation for the Great Jubilee of the year 2000. «Opening the doors to Christ», this is the title of the publication, wants to provide a «framework of action» to the dioceses, parishes and to the national bodies and movements, offering pastoral principles, suggestions, objectives to pursue in a pastoral action destined to end in the year 2001 and giving way to a true and proper «new beginning», stemming from the conversion of hearts and reconciliation.
The Bishops see the preparation for the Jubilee as a pilgrimage lasting three years, as a «prolonged period of Advent» which began with the Second Vatican Council and destined to take humanity to the threshold of the Third Millennium. The arrival of Christ in the world, the Bishops write, «gave history a new impulse, in an irreversible direction», and the celebration of the Jubilee, which for the first time coincides with the turning point of a millennium «is a unique moment in history, which assumes a serious message of faith». The manual, which as we said is in two languages and richly illustrated, is divided into four sections: the Introduction, which includes the Bishops' message to the American faithful; followed by a section entitled «Open the doors to Christ», with the targets and objectives of the preparatory phase, the annual schedule of the celebrations, the «pastoral strategies» on Conversion, reconciliation, attitude towards the Community, unity, peace and justice. The third part deals with the pastoral planning: it outlines eight pastoral principles, including the study of the scriptures and the significance of the Jubilee in the biblical tradition, a positive and trustful vision of the Church's path, ecumenical opening and the availability to inter-religious dialogue. Finally, the fourth part offers suggestions at a national, diocesan and parish level, for the celebrations during the preparatory phase and the jubilee year. During the liturgical year certain days have been identified to be dedicated in particular to prayer (for example, the Feast of the Immaculate, Peace Day, the Annunciation, Holy Thursday, All Saints, etc.), in addition to action (the Day of the march for life, for the sick, the Feast of the families, Earth Day), others to fasting. Religious festivals are suggested also at an ecumenical level, a national campaign for justice and an «alliance with the poor», specific celebrations of reconciliation and pardon, finally Diocesan eucharistic congresses to be held during the jubilee year or at the start of 2001. For each sector of pastoral action (liturgy, education and formation, social justice, communication means, family life) are indicated the values to be pursued and the outline of specific activities. Finally the appendix, in addition to a summary of the themes addressed by John Paul II in TMA, proposes to link the themes of the jubilee to the liturgical and civil calendar, which in the American tradition highlights, with specific dates, themes including peace, racial integration, the defence of life, the renewal of society.