World Day for Consecrated Life

Year of Consecrated LifeOn Monday we celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. A Feast rooted in everyday life. In faithful observance to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph present Jesus in the Temple to consecrate him to the Lord. There they met the righteous Simeon and the prophet Anna, for whom Temple worship was part of everyday life. God rewarded their fidelity by allowing them to see the one who was Savior and to hold him in their arms. When the ceremony of the presentation was completed, Mary and Joseph and Jesus returned to their homeland. There, they created a home and a family life. There, Jesus grew up, becoming strong and wise, and the grace of God was with him.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is also called Candlemas Day. According to Luke’s account of the Gospel, Simeon recognized Jesus as the Messiah in the Temple and declared him “a light for revelation to the Gentile, and glory for your people Israel.” This sparked the tradition of churches blessing enough candles to last an entire year.

In 1997 Saint John Paul II instituted the “World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.” He attached this celebration to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord saying that those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all people.

Pope Francis declared a “Year of Consecrated Life” to be celebrated throughout the world.  It began on the First Sunday of Advent, November 20, 2014 and continues until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2, 2016. During this “Year of Consecrated Life” he has transferred the “World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life” to this weekend – February 7/8, 2015.

As I look back at my life, I know that men and women in consecrated life, brothers and sisters, have had a tremendous influence on my life and priesthood. At Saint Agnes School in Elyria, I was formed by the Congregation of Saint Joseph on Rocky River Drive in Cleveland. At Elyria Catholic High School, I was introduced to the life and ministry of the Fathers of Saint Joseph in Avon and the Sisters of Notre Dame in Chardon. In my years of seminary formation I came to appreciate the Monks of Saint Andrew Abbey in Cleveland and the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland. In my first assignment at Saint Rita in Solon, I was introduced to the Vincentian Sisters of Bedford. At Immaculate Heart of Mary in Cleveland, I met the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Third order of Saint Francis and the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate. My years of service as Secretary and Vicar for Clergy and Religious, provided me with a much deeper appreciation of the tremendous ministry of the men and women in consecrated life throughout the Diocese of Cleveland.  And now at Saint John Bosco, I’ve come to know the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.

These are wonderful women and men – dedicated to the Lord Jesus, the Church, and the charisms of their Congregations or Communities. This weekend I will be calling to mind the fond memories I have of them – and lifting them up in prayer.

I invite you to do the same. Remember those brothers and sisters who have made an impact on your life – and lift them up in prayer.

Question – Is there someone you would like to thank? Please visit www.churchvocations.com and add a message of gratitude or story about a sister or brother who has positively impacted your life.

 

 

February 4th, 2015 |