Pope Francis declared a Year of Consecrated Life which began on the first Sunday of Advent, November 30, and will continue until World Day for Consecrated Life in February, 2016.
Brother James McVeigh, OSF, and Sister Patricia Moran, CIJ, co- vicars for Religious in the diocese of Rockville Centre invite everyone in the diocese to join in celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life.
“We are blessed to have this time to educate and inform all in our diocese of the role of Consecrated Life,” said Brother James. “It will also be a time to celebrate the lives of those who have consecrated their lives to God as religious sisters, brothers and priests. Aside from educational programs, there will be opportunities to pray, to perform service to God’s people together, to invite people to know us more personally, to visit our homes (convents, friaries, monasteries etc.).
Brother James added that “we continue to have a strong presence of religious brothers, sisters and priest in our diocese serving in pastoral and educational ministries, health facilities, outreach to the poor and immigrants and the list goes on. We also have a power house of prayer in our elderly religious who pray for all of us and the ministries of the diocese.”
He and Sister Patricia invite the faithful of the diocese “during this year to get to know religious more personally, pray for and with them, support their ministries and participate in them.”
Also to “invite our youth and young adults to consider religious life, research it as one of many options for their future, tell them stories of your positive experiences with religious sisters, brothers and priests and encourage them to participate in activities to know religious better.”
Pope Francis urged all religious to: “Wake up the World! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, of acting, of living!
The Diocese of Rockville Centre has planned some events to celebrate this special time for our consecrated women and men. One of these efforts, being carried out in collaboration with the Diocese of Brooklyn and St. John’s University and the Vincentian family, is a series of retreat days on the second Saturday of every month. The central theme for these get-togethers is “An Undivided Heart.” Specific topics for each Retreat Day have been planned as well as speakers taken from among the sisters, brothers and priests of our dioceses.
All religious sisters, brothers and priests have been invited to attend these monthly retreat days to be held in St. Thomas More Church at St. John’s University. The schedule for the day includes gathering prayer at 2 p.m., conference, quiet time, and Eucharist at 4 p.m.
The Opening Retreat was held on December 13; the speaker was Father Patrick J. Griffin, CM, who offered a conference called “Stories about Angels.” In his presentation, Father Griffin invited us to reflect upon the biblical stories about angels and how they reveal as well as express the presence and providence of God.
The next Retreat Day will take place on Saturday, January 10, 2015 from 2:00-5:00. The topic will be “Making All Things New” and the presenter will be Sister Diane Morgan, OP. All consecrated persons are welcome. For more information and to register, please contact the Office of Vicars for Religious: 516-678-5800 (Sister Patricia, CIJ, ext. 589 or Brother James, OSF, ext 588).
Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life
O God, throughout the ages you have called women and men to pursue lives of perfect charity through the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
During this Year of Consecrated Life, we give you thanks for these courageous witnesses of Faith and models of inspiration.
Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to you. Continue to enrich your Church by calling forth sons and daughters who, having found the pearl of great price, treasure the Kingdom of Heaven above all things.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.