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​World Day for Consecrated Life celebrates important witness of consecrated persons in the church

March 15, 2020 | posted by Archdiocese of San Antonio

Topics: Vocations

World Day for Consecrated Life celebrates important witness of consecrated persons in the church

World Day for Consecrated Life, which is celebrated each year, was instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1997 in conjunction with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, commemorating the coming of Christ with the symbolic lighting of candles.

Similarly, consecrated men and women are called to reflect the light and love of Jesus Christ to all peoples through their unique witness of selfless service, such as caring for the poor, contemplative prayers, or through apostolic ministries.

On February 2, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to recognize and pray for the essential role of consecrated persons in the life of the Church and to express gratitude for their service.

Parishes across the United States also celebrated consecrated life during the first weekend of February. As members of their local communities, consecrated men and women bring the presence of Jesus to all they encounter throughout their day, allowing his Spirit to live and move within them so that the truth of the Gospel can be proclaimed to all.

At the World Day for Consecrated Life in 2019, the Holy Father said, “Consecrated life … is a living encounter with the lord in his people. It is a call to the faithful obedience of daily life and to the unexpected surprises from the Spirit. It is a vision of what we need to embrace in order to experience joy: Jesus.”

In the archdiocese, the day was also observed on February 2 in a liturgy at Christ the King Church with Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, as the presider.

The archbishop told the congregation, which included many consecrated men and women in attendance, that the gospel calls us to make a decision. “In a world consumed by a quest for possessions, the word of God counsels poverty and sharing our resources with the poor. In a world obsessed by sensual pleasure, we learn about the importance of respecting every person -- at every stage of life and in all circumstances. In a world that prizes power and domination, we see our Savior obedient to death, even death on the Cross.”

Archbishop Gustavo emphasized that all have a choice to make: to walk with the Lord or away from him.

Prior to the Prayers of the Faith, the San Antonio prelate led those in consecrated life in a prayer of renewal to commitment to following Jesus. “We commit ourselves anew to our mission of serving the Kingdom in the Church,” he said. “Grant us the grace, through the intercession of Our Lady, to witness to the joy of the Gospel as missionary disciples serving the poor, always faithful to the charisms of our congregations, and reflecting the life of Christ to the world.”