World Day for Consecrated Life

Published: February 2, 2012

Author: Lucha Ramey

Father Thomas Looney presiding at Mass

The Catholic Church celebrates World Day for Consecrated Life on Thursday, February 2, and will also be observed on Sunday, February 5, 2012, in parishes in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.

Pope John Paul II called for a dedicated day of prayer for religious women and men in 1997. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord held on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world, just as those who are called to consecrated life are called to reflect light of Jesus Christ to others. Therefore, Pope John Paul fittingly chose Candlemas Day as the World Day for Consecrated Life.

In the Congregation of Holy Cross, the United States Province is a family of 400 priests and brothers, with more than 100 young men in formation in the United States and around the world. Holy Cross is an apostolic community of priests and brothers, who with zeal and a preferential option for the poor, work to make God known, loved and served in our education, parish, and mission communities across the United States, and around the world. Through the vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience, Holy Cross religious are committed to following Christ’s path of discipleship and drawing those they minister to in their education, parish, and mission settings closer to God.

Internally within Holy Cross, the Congregation is also celebrating consecrated life. "Year of the Brother," which runs Oct. 17, 2011 - Oct. 17, 2012, honors the important services given to the Church and the world through the brothers' vocation. The celebration begins and ends on the anniversary of the canonization of the order's first saint, St. André Bessette. In their religious consecration, brothers give their lives over to the Lord in service to all of God's people. During the "Year of the Brother," Holy Cross gives thanks for their service, compassion, and prayer they share with the world and with one another in community.

If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a vocation as a priest or brother with Holy Cross, we invite you to read this recent reflection about discernment from our Associate Director of Vocations, Fr. Drew Gawrych, and then contact the Office of Vocations.

Prayers of the Faithful

Those consecrated to God by the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience seek to live their Baptismal promises more intensely. May the consecrated persons of this community of faith have the grace to persevere in their commitment to the Lord and serve with open hearts and willing spirits. We pray to the Lord ...

We are thankful for all who have responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be a consecrated person. May they experience the support of the Church as they continue their growth in holiness. We pray to the Lord ...

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website