Mass to celebrate 50th anniversary of Vatican II will be celebrated Thursday in Braintree

The Archdiocese of Boston will mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley Thursday afternoon, according to a statement from the Archdiocese.

Mass will be said at noon at Bethany Chapel at the Pastoral Center in Braintree.

Pope Benedict XVI will officially open the Year of Faith during Mass in St. Peter’s Square Thursday.

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The Year of Faith is an initiative by Pope Benedict to involve people in the “New Evangelization,” an outreach focused on those who have been baptized but have become inactive in their faith, according to the statement.

“Evangelization must be the first focus of our Church. Then, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, which result from living and sharing the Gospel, will transform the culture around us,” Cardinal O’Malley wrote in his June 2011 pastoral letter. “We have the mission ‘to repair the world,’ what the Jews call Tikkun olam. Evangelization includes working for justice and caring for the material needs of others.”

Cardinal O’Malley appointed Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy to serve as the episcopal vicar for the New Evangelization of the Archdiocese.

After being appointed to the position, Bishop Kennedy wrote, “While the ‘classical’ evangelization sought converts in missionary lands, the ‘new’ evangelization seeks them closer to home among those who have drifted away from the faith into which they were baptized or because of dominance of cultural secularization they may never have had any encounter with the Living God.”

The Mass will also mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, according to the statement.