Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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November 21 Mass part of Spokane Diocese’s Year of Consecrated Life celebration
the Inland Register
(From the November 19, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)
Bishop Thomas Daly will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, 1115 W. Riverside Ave. in Spokane.
The Mass is part of the celebration of the Year for Consecrated Life, which will conclude next February.
Pope Francis opened the Year of Consecrated Life on Nov. 30 last year. “Religious should be men and women who are able to wake the world up!” he said at the time.
He proposed the aim of the year in a letter to Religious Brothers and Sisters, echoing the heart of Pope St. John Paul II. It was that saint who encouraged those in consecrated life by reminding them in Vita Consecrata that they have “not only a glorious history to remember and recount, but also a great history still to be accomplished!” (110) In his “Apostolic Letter to all Consecrated People on the Occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life,” Pope Francis invited Religious around the world to “look to the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion, and to embrace the future with hope.”
During this Year of Consecrated Life, Religious have welcomed children, youth, young adults and families to take part in various activities relative to this year’s focus. Consecrated men and women in the Spokane Diocese and throughout the United States opened their doors for open houses last February. The summer months invited families to assist in a “Day of Service” with Religious.
Last summer also saw two events in the Spokane Diocese, aimed at youth, to help them learn more about Religious life and priesthood.
Women Religious hosted Vocare 2015, welcoming girls from across the Northwest to experience the life of a Religious Sister/nun. For young men, priests and seminarians hosted Quo Vadis Days, inviting them to discern a call to the priesthood.
On Sept. 13, families were encouraged to join consecrated men and women for a day of prayer. All these activities were meant to introduce young people to various forms of consecrated life in the Church today and to foster and encourage vocations, answering Jesus’ invitation to “Follow Me.”
The Second Vatican Council teaches that the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience are a divine gift which the Church has received from God. Pope Francis reminded Religious superiors that the evangelical counsels are a radical evangelical way of living. Men and women Religious “follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way,” he said in November 2013. What is needed at this time is for Religious “to be prophets who witness to how Jesus lived on this earth.” The Lord’s invitation to profess the evangelical counsels is an invitation to be “more intimately consecrated to the Lord’s service.” They are ordered to the perfection of charity and the flourishing of the Kingdom of God (Lumen Gentium, 43-44).
Pope Francis reminds us that there are no bounds to the creativity of charity. Through prayer and through the works of the active apostolate, religious are called to meet the cries of the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the despairing, the lonely; of every human need.
This year, the whole Church is invited to celebrate with thanksgiving to God for the gift of consecrated life, which “expresses the deepest nature of the Christian vocation and the yearning of the Church as the Bride for union with her sole Spouse” (Pope Francis, Letter for the Year of Consecrated Life).
In his homily during vespers with priest and Religious recently, Pope Francis said: “In a special way I would like to express my esteem and my gratitude to the Religious women of the United States. What would the Church be without you? Women of strength, fighters, with that spirit of courage which puts you in the front lines in the proclamation of the Gospel. To you, Religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say ‘thank you,’ a big thank you … and to tell you that I love you very much.”
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