A card communicating that its carrier is a baptised Catholic will be distributed nationally on behalf of the bishops of England and Wales.
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is distributing one million cards to 24 dioceses including the Bishopric of the Forces and the ordinariate in order to cultivate evangelisation among Catholics.
The credit-card-size resource features on one side a clear statement that the carrier is a Catholic and a list of six things that Catholics are called to do.
There is also a sentence that reads: “In the event of an emergency, please contact a Catholic priest.”
The other side of the card has a quote from Blessed John Henry Newman, focusing on the call to serve and affirming that everyone has a mission.
Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, chairman of the bishops’ Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said: “We all carry a variety of cards in our purses and wallets which reflect something of our identity and the things that are important to us. The faith card for Catholics aims to offer a daily reminder of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. We can’t summarise the whole of our faith in bullet points, but we hope that the card simply inspires people to do, read and learn more.”
The bishop added: “The card is also designed to give Catholics confidence to share their faith – often people need help knowing what to say. Faith is a not a private matter. This is something that Pope Benedict reminded the Catholic community in his recent letter announcing a Year of Faith, beginning in October 2012. Carrying a faith card takes courage, it signals to others, every time you use your wallet or purse, that you believe in God, that your life has a purpose, that you are trying to love and serve your neighbour. We hope that Catholics will use it to witness to their faith. If someone asks a question about Catholicism, a starting point could be to show the card and to take it from there.”
The resource is free and will be distributed to diocesan offices during February and March 2012 for local circulation.