The International Congress on Consecrated Life would put an emphasis to study the basic identity of the vocation of religious in the Church and the world, as well as the formational needs to meet today’s challenges, said Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, the Prefect for the Congregation for Consecrated Life, in remarks at the opening of the Congress.
Noticing the new geographical and cultural challenges which can disorient one today, he reminded Pope Francis’ invitation “to look to the past with gratitude” and to “look at the signs of the times through the eyes of faith and to respond creatively to the needs of the Church.” Living the present with passion means becoming “experts in communion, witnesses and artisans” of communion, he said.
In a conflict-torn society where different cultures struggle to find balance amidst inequalities and injustices, Cardinal de Aviz said we are called to offer “a concrete model” of fraternal community where the dignity and gifts inherent in each person are recognized and appreciated.
Calling for the consecrated to “embrace the future with hope,” Cardinal de Aviz acknowledged the difficulties surrounding various forms of consecrated life, including aging and fewer vocations, economic problems, the challenges of globalization, the “insidiousness of relativism, marginalization and social irrelevance.” Despite these, the Cardinal encouraged those present to look with hope to the Lord for whom “nothing is impossible” so that they can continue to contribute in great ways to the Church’s mission.
Courtesy: Radio Vaticana