World Consecrated Life 2015

Bishop Thévenot in CathedralJanuary 7, 2015

To my fellow priests, and to all parishes,

In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life, which is celebrated every year on February 2 with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

This year, as you may know, Pope Francis designated as the Year of Consecrated Life. The observance began on the first Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014 and will end with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2, 2016. In his message, Pope Francis noted, “God who, in his Spirit, calls certain individuals to follow Christ more closely, to translate the Gospel into a particular way of life, to read the signs of the times with the eyes of faith and to respond creatively to the needs of the Church.”

In our parishes, we have all experienced the benefits of these consecrated individuals who have responded to the promptings of the Spirit, and in this Year of Consecrated life, we need to acknowledge their contributions to our Diocese. Therefore, below are four suggestions that we encourage you to discuss and implement as a parish. As February 2, 2015 is on a Monday this year, we would ask that you incorporate these ideas into the weekend celebrations of January 31 and/or February 1.

  1. Make a poster of each religious order that has served in your respective parishes and have them on display. Please remember that the Missionaries of Africa should be included, displaying our Bishop, and to acknowledge the religious orders of any recent priests you may have had.

  2. Honour the religious of your parish in some way. Go into your parish records and history books to rediscover the names of the particular religious who had served in your parish community and honour them in some special way.
  3. Include an intention during the Sunday General Intentions.
  • Sample 1: Let us pray for the religious orders that have served in our parish (list all your religious orders). May God continue to grant them many vocations, and may they always be a beacon of light for others to see the light of Christ. We pray to the Lord.

  • Sample 2: May God inspire many young men to become priests in our Diocese, so we will always have shepherds to serve his flock. We pray to the Lord.

  • Sample 3: May God continue to bless our Bishop and the Missionaries of Africa; that he will continue to inspire and lead our people. We pray to the Lord.

    4. A prayer to be said at the beginning of Mass, or at the end of the Intentions.

  • Sample 1:

God our Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son’s Kingdom as: sisters, brothers, religious priests, deacons, consecrated virgins, and hermits, as well as members of Secular Institutes.

Renew their knowledge and love of you, and send your Holy Spirit to help them respond generously and courageously to your will. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

  • Sample 2:

O God, throughout the ages you have called women and men to pursue lives of perfect charity through the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

During this Year of Consecrated Life, we give you thanks for these courageous witnesses of faith and models of inspiration.

Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to you.

Continue to enrich your Church by calling forth sons and daughters who, having found the pearl of great price, treasure the Kingdom of Heaven above all things.

We pray this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

With this letter, we have included three attachments that may help you in your preparations as they contain information of the religious orders who have served in our Diocese. They are:

So together through prayer, in our Eucharistic celebrations, and with our displays, let us honor the men and women in our respective parishes who have given of themselves through their consecrated life.

May God bless you in your ministry.

Sincerely,

Fr. Jim Kaptein
Director of the Vocations Commission

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