Pope Francis has called for a Year of Consecrated Life, a great time of grace and renewal spanning over a year: from the First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014 to the Feast of the Presentation on February 2, 2016.
In a special way, the Year for Consecrated Life will also commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of Perfectae Caritatis, the Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life from the Second Vatican Council, issued on October 28, 1965 by Pope Paul VI.
May the whole Church rejoice in the gift of consecrated life, and may the Holy Spirit bring about a continued renewal of religious life and imbue an “unbounded generosity” on the part of many young people to follow Christ through the evangelical counsels!
August 15, 2015 – Debut of New Film on Religious Life “For Love Alone”
For Love Alone is an 18-minute film on religious life produced by Grassroots Films for the CMSWR. Featuring various religious congregations, this film explores the gift and the mystery of religious life today as experienced by young sisters in America. May this project of the New Evangelization bring the Year of Consecrated Life to youth groups, parishes, and families. Upon release, the film will be available on i-tunes and Amazon. See #ForLoveAlone, and the blog of the nationwide tour of pre-sceenings in May and June.
September 13, 2015 – Nation-wide Day of Prayer with Religious
This initiative calls for local diocese in the United States to offer opportunities for shared prayer between consecrated and lay faithful.
November 13-14 2015 – Symposium “Wake Up the World” on Religious Life for all religious, clergy and laity in St. Louis
The Symposium on Religious Life will be a national event where scholars and religious come together to discuss the beauty of religious life, a life of prophetic witness. Keynote address by Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Most Rev. Augustine DiNoia, O.P. ~ Most Rev. Andrew Cozzens ~ Sister Mary Prudence Allen, R.S.M. ~ Helen Alvare ~ Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T. ~ Rev. Christopher Collins, S.J. ~Mother Mary Timothea Elliott, R.S.M. ~ Rev. David Meconi, S.J. ~ Sister Mary Nika Schaumber, R.S.M. ~ Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, S.V. ~ Sister Constance Veit, l.s.p. ~ Sister Regina Marie Gorman, O.C.D. ~ Sister Clare Matthias, C.F.R. ~ Mother Shaun Vergauwen. F.S.E. ~ Danielle Peters ~ Sister Anne Marie Walsh, S.O.L.T. ~ Sister Ann Shields, S.G.L.
A Summer Course in Spanish for Spanish-Speaking Women Religious in the United States (CMSWR-sponsored, open to all)
Taking place in Corpus Christi, Texas, this course seeks to respond to the call of the Second Vatican Council (Perfectae Caritatis, #18) for religious to “strive during the whole course of their lives to perfect the culture they have received in matters spiritual and in arts and sciences.” Participating sisters will explore together the lives, times and writings of the great authors of the Early Church especially those texts which have shaped the Office of Readings and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Summer 2015 – Nation-wide Day of Service with Religious
Local convents and religious houses are invited to offer days for individuals and families to work alongside those in consecrated life.
Sunday, May 3, 2015 – Concert in Honor of the Year of Consecrated LifeIn honor of the Year of Consecrated Life, the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará will present a concert “Ecce Sponsus: a Song for the Bridegroom” on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 at 5:00 P.M. at Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Church on 1357 East Capitol Street SE Washington, DC 20003. Learn more.
February 2, 2015 – Celebrating the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple in the Year of Consecrated Life
February 2nd marks the Feast of the Presentation in the Temple when the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph brought the Infant Jesus to the Temple according to Mosaic Law (Luke 2:22-38; Cf. Exodus, 13:02). The liturgy of the day also includes the lighting of candles to symbolize the coming of the Light, Jesus Himself, into the Temple as Simeon described Him: “light to the nations” (lumen gentium).
November 2014 – Pilgrimage for the Opening of the Year of Consecrated Life
Sisters from Phoenix went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Sisters from the Houses of Formation went on pilgrimage to Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, SC (1901-1927) and Servant of God Fr. Walter Ciszek, SJ (1904-1984), Sisters participated in the Schola for the Opening Mass of the Year of Consecrated Life at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
“Reflections of Consecrated Life in the Arts”, March 4, 2015
During the Year of Consecrated Life, we wish to highlight some instances of how artists, playwrights, and poets have been inspired by the witness of religious. The arts have thus often become venues for Catholics and non-Catholics alike to reflect on the mystery of men and women who have given their lives “to bear witness to the mercy and tenderness of the Lord.”
“Spiritual Maternity” (3:15), March 19, 2015
As part of the Year of Consecrated Life, we wish to offer this short video as a reflection on the mystery of spiritual maternity.
Vita Consecrata Video Series is a ten-part video series based on short passages from “Vita Consecrata” the 1996 document of St. John Paul II arranged thematically. May it provide an introduction to the full text, a point for reflection for a youth group or confirmation class, or an encouragement and aid for those discerning.
FURTHER READING and EVENTS in ROME
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life issued a beautiful letter last February entitled “Rejoice!”which gathered the teachings of Pope Francis on religious life and introduced the goals and aspirations of this initiative.
Address of Pope Francis to participants in the Ecumenical Colloquium of Men and Women Religious, held by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (24 January 2015)