Congregations and dioceses across the globe inaugurated the year long celebrations of Year for Consecrated Life demonstrating interest and enthusiasm for a renewed spirit in their commitment.
In Rome, Pope Francis opened the Year of Consecrated Life with a call to joyful witness. Nearly 50 years after Vatican II’s decree on the adaption and renewal of religious life, Perfectae Caritatis, Pope Francis convoked the year with the aim of expressing the “beauty and preciousness of this unique form” of Christian discipleship.
As Pope Francis was away in a trip to Turkey, his message was read out in his absence on Nov. 30 by Cardinal João Braz de Aviz at the beginning of Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The three focuses of the year, according to the letter from Pope Francis, are “to look with to the past with gratitude,” “live the present with passion,” and to “embrace the future with hope.”
Despite Persecution, Syrian Communities Celebrate Year of Consecrated Life reports Catholic.org. In Zambia, Bishop Patrick Chisanga said that the year of Consecrated Life is a call for introspection giving a spiritual start for the year. Netherlands’ monasteries will engage in a chain of prayers throughout the Year of Consecrated Life. Indonesia’s Year of the Consecrated Life would focus on the “beauty and dignity of vocations”
The American Catholic Bishop Conference has planned a variety of programmes to mark the year. Many dioceses in North America including that of St. Augustine and Washington have opened the year with the inaugural mass.