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Year of Consecrated Life coming to close, events planned

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Franciscan Father Fred Link directs women and men religious during a rehearsal for “Wake up the World: A Concert Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life,” scheduled for Jan. 17, 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. (Courtesy Photo)
Franciscan Father Fred Link directs women and men religious during a rehearsal for “Wake up the World: A Concert Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life,” scheduled for Jan. 17, 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. (Courtesy Photo)

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, in union with the Catholic Church around the world, has been celebrating members of religious orders and others in consecrated life during the Year of Consecrated Life called by Pope Francis from Nov. 30, 2014 to Feb. 2, 2016.

The theme for the celebration in the archdiocese, reflecting the pope’s goals for the year, has been “Celebrating the Past, Serving the Present, Embracing the Future.”

“Each of us has a call from God, and discovering God’s call for us will bring joy to our life,” said Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr. “Religious/consecrated life is a viable option.”

As the Year of Consecrated Life comes to a close, I reflect back with gratitude at the way so many parishes, diocesan offices, The Catholic Telegraph and religious communities of women and men entered into the celebration of this year set aside by Pope Francis,” said Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Marilyn Kerber, director of the archdiocesan Office of Religious. “The archbishop’s goals were to raise awareness about the consecrated life and express appreciation for this vocation in the church. I believe these goals were accomplished in many different ways.

In celebration of the year, many area religious orders opened the doors to their motherhouses and ministries inviting friends, neighbors and community members to pray with them, tour their facilities and learn more about them. In March, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, visited the archdiocese and addressed area women and men religious during a meeting and prayer service at the Athenaeum of Ohio. At another gathering in April, young religious came together for an evening of prayer and conversation and to celebrate their vocations at Mount Notre Dame Convent in Reading.

Other events throughout the year included a film series offered by the University of Dayton; “Days with Religious” focused on shared experiences of prayer, service and community life; and opportunities to attend presentations and talks by those who have dedicated their lives to Christ.

Events marking the close of the year include a concert featuring the voices of more than 120 women and men religious from throughout the archdiocese scheduled for Jan. 17, 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. Titled “Wake up the World! A Concert Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life,” the event will include both traditional and contemporary works. The concert is free and open to the public. Free will offerings will be accepted. Exhibits by various local religious communities, along with a reception with refreshments, will follow in the cathedral’s undercroft.

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr will preside at a Mass closing the Year of Consecrated Life on Jan. 31, 11 a.m. at the cathedral.

This article first appeared in the January 2016 print edition of The Catholic Telegraph.

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