Special Mass, dinner mark World Day for Consecrated Life
For many years now in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Little Sisters of the Poor have invited women religious in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to come together at the their home to celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life on Feb. 2. This year, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr presided at a liturgy for those gathered. Archbishop Emeritus Daniel E. Pilarczyk was also present.
In 1997, Pope John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in the consecrated life. In Vita Consecrata, the late pontiff described various forms of the consecrated life: the monastic life in the East and West, the Order of Virgins, Institutes completely devoted to contemplation, Apostolic Life, Secular Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life.
This celebration of consecrated life is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on Feb. 2. 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 the 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.
During the Mass, the archbishop thanked those in attendance and all women and men religious for their service to the church, including the ministry of prayer. He also reminded them to be open to Gods surprises. Sisters from the following communities were present: Carmelites, Children of Mary, Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, Oldenburg Franciscans, Poor Clares, Regnum Christi, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Mary Reparatrix, Sisters of Mercy and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Dinner followed Mass and Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Marilyn Kerber, director of the archdiocesan Office of Religious invited the communities to share any news they had.
It was an opportunity for all to pray for consecrated women and men and to pray for and encourage vocations to this way of life, Sister Marilyn said.