The Year of Consecrated Life
Pope Francis has set aside November 30, 2014 through February 2, 2016 as the Year of Consecrated Life. Our Archbishop has set the objectives for this celebration in our Archdiocese: to increase the visibility of religious life/consecrated life, to express appreciation, to highlight the joy experienced in this vocational choice, and to educate on the importance of on religious life/consecrated life to the Church. As one means of learning more about religious life/consecrated life, our website will periodically have an educational component in the form of a question and answer. It is our hope that you will not only read the entries but discuss them your family, friends, co-workers. And perhaps share stories about the influence of consecrated women and men in your life.
Why are there so few Sisters, Brothers and Priests in schools and hospitals today?
One of the very obvious reasons is the fact that there are simply fewer religious today compared to the total population and to the number of Catholics. However, two other reasons also affected the move away from these two important ministries. In the 1960s men and women religious were asked by the Church to study their founding charisms. In doing so, and applying them to the contemporary world and its needs, many discovered that it was an historical shift that moved them from their original reason for being founded to meeting the needs of Catholics in the US through Catholic hospitals and schools. Following the Church’s mandate many religious congregations returned to working with the poor, the alienated and the marginalized just as their founders and foundresses had done. At the same time, laity were being encouraged to take their rightful place in the ministries of the Church and more and more lay men and women were training for ministries that had been traditionally been those of men and women religious. This shift shows that it is not the ministry of teaching or health care that defines religious life, but rather vows or promises and the communal life undertaken to meet the needs of God’s people in an ever changing world.
More information on Consecrated Life will be posted periodically, so check back often!