Sunday, February 06, 2011

Celebrating Consecrated Life

"In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church." From the USCCB Website

For the sake of parochial observances, the Church in the United States observes this occasion today. It is a valuable opportunity both as Church and as invidiuals to celebrate the gift that consecrated life is to the Church, to the world, and to us individually.

I pause on this day in a special way to give thanks that God deigned in the recipe of me to include the rich flavors of a number of religious communities, namely the daughters of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt, the Sisters of Christian Charity; the daughters of Blessed Fr. James Alberione, the Daughters of Saint Paul; the daughters of St. Dominic, the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell; the daughters of Blessed Mary Angela Truskowska, the Felician Sisters; and the sons of St. Marcellin Champagnat, the Marist Brothers of the Schools. I am also personally thankful for the richness in my life through the daughters of Margaret Anna Cusack, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace; the daughters of Molly (Mary Joseph) Rogers, the Maryknoll Sisters; the daughters of Catharine McAuley, the Sisters of Mercy; and the many religious across communities and congregations who have touched my life and are touching my life now. A special recognition to the Jesuits, OFM Caps, OFM Conventuals, CFRs, the Nuns of St. Basil the Great, the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Marianite Sisters, and the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Whether I have mentioned your community by name or not, I am grateful for and to you.

For you, this day I pray with the same prayer (original source unknown)that I concluded my high school graduation speech:

"Of all the fine and noble things that you have done with your beautiful life,
the greatest is you helped me to know God and know myself.
I shall spend my eternity thanking you!"

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