Vocations » Religious Life
On November 29, 2013, Pope Francis revealed to 120 superiors general of men’s religious orders that consecrated life would be the Church’s focus for 2015. During the closed-door meeting, Pope Francis reportedly asked the Church’s religious sisters, brothers and priests to “wake up the world” with their testimony of faith, holiness and hope, according to Catholic News Service.
The focus was made official during a January 31, 2014, news conference during which the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, outlined plans for the year-long celebration. The cardinal expressed the hope that Pope Francis will celebrate the year’s opening Mass on November 21, 2014, because it is the day the Church designates a day of prayer for cloistered religious. In addition, he expected the year would conclude on the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council decree on the renewal of religious life, Perfectae Caritatis.
According to Catholic News Service, the cardinal went on to say, “"We are also convinced that in these 50 years, consecrated life has followed a fruitful path of renewal – certainly not without difficulties and struggles. In this year, we want to recognize and confess our weaknesses, but we also want to show the world with strength and joy the holiness and vitality that are present in consecrated life."
Plan to attend a diocesan wide celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life from 1:00—6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 14, 2015 on the campus of Saint Anselm College. Events will include: a keynote address with breakout sessions, activities for children and youth, and a liturgical celebration in the Abbey Church. A boxed lunch will be available. Watch eNews for additional details and registration information.
Throughout the Year of Consecrated Life, we will feature consecrated men and women who serve in the Diocese of Manchester. We asked them to tell us about their life and work. Watch eNews, catholicnh.org, and Facebook to learn when new interviews are published.
Cissy Van Loon
In Corinthians 12, St. Paul reminds us that… “There are different gifts but the same Spirit, there are different ministries but the same Lord, there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone.”
This provides a context to explain the variety of charisms and missions among the thousands of Religious Orders in the United States. Religious communities of priests, brothers and sisters have long worked to bring the faith to all people and to serve them, whether it be working as educators, in health care, pastoral work, spirituality, with the poor, or the many other areas demanding a Gospel response.
Each order has been founded in response to a charism or mission. There may be multiple responses within a given charism, but commitment to the founding vision or mission is at the heart of all they do. The result is the richness of the variety of men and women who have committed themselves to living out the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience in service to the people of God. The Church exists to do the mission of Jesus and to bring about the reign of God, the intense love of God to fruition. May the witness of their lives and good works continue to further the reign of God in our time.
To learn more about religious life and to get these and other questions answered, read this "Special Report on Religious Life." (pdf)
As Liaison for Women Religious, Sr. Kelly Connors, pm, JCD, assists the Bishop in his supervision of the women religious living and/or ministering in the diocese. She provides ministry to and care for all women religious, active and retired, and is concerned with their overall welfare. In addition, the Liaison collaborates with the Co-Vicars for Clergy in communicating with the major superiors and is available to meet with individual women religious upon request.
For more information, please contact:
Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire
153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
Fax: (603) 669-0377
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