Year of Consecrated Life
Do you know that throughout the world the Catholic Church is celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life? Pope Francis wrote a message to all people inviting them “to experience this Year above all as a moment of thanksgiving to the Lord and grateful remembrance for all the gifts we continue to receive”. In his message he shares the aims and expectations of this grace-filled time.
I decided to proclaim a Year of Consecrated Life on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, which speaks of religious in its sixth chapter, and of the Decree Perfectae Caritatis on the renewal of religious life. The Year will begin on 30 November 2014, the First Sunday of Advent, and conclude with the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple on 2 February 2016.
[…] I have chosen as the aims of this Year the same ones which Saint John Paul II proposed to the whole Church at the beginning of the third millennium, reiterating, in a certain sense, what he had earlier written in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata: “You have not only a glorious history to remember and to recount, but also a great history still to be accomplished! Look to the future, where the Spirit is sending you in order to do even greater things” (No. 110).
In this post I will give you an overview of how we are celebrating this Year, making our life more known and understood to the general public, and most importantly, how we hope to deepen our personal consecration to Jesus our Crucified Bridegroom.
Our monastic community will be meeting regularly to discuss the theme of this Year of Consecrated Life using Pope Francis’ message as a guide. Here is the theme:
Gratefully Remembering the Past. Embracing the Future with Hope. Living the Present Passionately.
Gratefully Remembering the Past: reflecting upon our Founder, our charism, and the lessons of our community’s past.
Living the Present Passionately: communal reconciliation and our growth in virtues especially that of charity…for a life consecrated to God must lead to perfect charity.
Embracing the Future with Hope: a life of charity leads to fruits of joy, peace, mercy, new initiatives, new life!
We recently recorded some “Consecrated Life Minutes” for our Catholic Radio station WJOR. I hope to make these available once they begin airing on the radio. Thanks to one of our benefactors a new bumper sticker will soon be available advertising our radio station.
An updated Guest House brochure was printed last fall. Come stay in our Guest House and pray with us during this holy year! Keep an eye out for a future post with photos of the new brochure and more information about making a retreat here.
We had a promotional magnet created to advertise our blog. A vertical banner is also in the works to send along with our vocation materials to retreats and youth conferences. Since we are cloistered we don’t attend these gatherings but this will give youth a greater visual of the joy of Passionist life.
In August our Bishop and the priests of our diocese are invited to meet with our community and learn about our hidden life of prayer in their midst. We are also submitting monthly articles for our diocesan newspaper.
Throughout this year, one of the Sisters is proposing a theme of monastic life to review and reflect upon each month. The images and themes are taken from Monastic Practices written in 1986 by Cistercian monk, Father Charles Cummings and illustrated by Cistercian nun, Sister M. Bernarda Seferovich. We love the illustrations! God-willing, I will have time to share these with you in upcoming posts.
And another profound event taking place during this sacred Year…We will be losing a postulant this week. This Friday Elizabeth will be departing at 10 a.m.
She will be no longer known as Elizabeth but as Sister ???
Yes! Elizabeth’s reception of the holy habit and her new name is THIS Friday. It will be great to see a white-veiled novice walking through the corridors once again. This Friday was chosen as it is the titular feast of our Passionist Congregation – a Solemnity before the penance of Lent begins – The Solemn Commemoration of the Passion. Please keep her in prayer as she makes her 3 day retreat Tuesday through Thursday in preparation for this holy and awesome event in her gradual transformation of becoming a Passionist Nun. Hearken back here after Friday for photos of the private monastic ceremony and the announcement of the name of our new Sister-to-be!
Wake up the world! Explore a Passionist Vocation!