Year of Consecrated Life Begins in November

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

In less than a month, Advent will be here. On that same weekend, Nov. 29, the Year of Consecrated Life will begin. This 14-month period, whose theme is “Wake Up the World,” was announced last year by Pope Francis after a meeting of the Union of Superiors General. The event is an opportunity to celebrate and to communicate the forms of consecrated life in the Church.

The Provincial Council is joining with leaders of other religious orders to encourage commemorations.

After its October meeting, the Council issued a report recommending that friars review the resources for the YCL that appear on the website of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. The Council endorsed CMSM’s proposal to participate, at a local level, in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ program for this commemoration.

Recommended events include:

  • Feb. 8, 2015 — Religious open houses, including tours, receptions, family activities
  • Summer 2015 — Day of mission and service with religious
  • Sept. 13, 2015— Day of prayer with religious

“These events, which can be organized by interested houses, may prove to be good opportunities for enhancing vocational awareness, celebrating our partnership with laity and for sharing the contemplative aspect of our charism,” said Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM.

“The scheduled events will provide an opportunity, especially for young people, to see how men and women religious live,” said Bishop Michael Burbidge of Raleigh, N.C., chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, during an Oct. 1 press conference announcing YCL activities in the United States.

Prayers, videos and other resources can be found on the USCCB’s website.

The CMSM offers a webpage dedicated to the YCL, as well as a list of observances common to the Church in the United States and in Rome. The CMSM’s site includes the logo for the YCL theme, designed by the National Religious Vocations Conference.

The year, ending on Feb. 2, 2016, the World Day of Consecrated Life, is similar to previous themed years announced by popes, such as Year of the Priest (2009-10) and the Year of St. Paul (2008-09).

The CMSM will share additional information in the coming months.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.