Pope Francis will mark the World Day for Consecrated Life on Wednesday, February 2nd 2022 (the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord) with a Eucharistic celebration in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has addressed a letter to the world’s consecrated men and women inviting them to walk together as a community in the synodal spirit of participation, where members exercise responsibility for one another through mutual listening, excluding no one.
This year’s message focuses on ‘participation’, the second word of the theme of the 2023 Synod: ‘Communion, Participation and Mission’.
Recalling the exhortation of Pope Francis, the message says,
“No one, no one, should be excluded or feel excluded from this journey; no one, no one, should think ‘it doesn’t concern me’.”
The message recalls that, by going back to their vocational call, consecrated persons will rediscover the enthusiasm, amazement and joy of feeling and being part of a project of love, for which others like them have also made their lives available for the good of humanity.
The Vatican Congregation thus invites consecrated persons to revive this memory, warning that “over time it risks losing its strength, especially when we replace the attractiveness of ‘we’ with the strength of ‘I’”.
Participation of all
The first proof of participation is belonging, the message says, adding, “I cannot participate if I conceive of myself as the whole and do not recognize myself as part of a shared project.”
Hence the importance of asking ourselves what this listening in the community consists of: “Who are the brothers and sisters we listen to and, before that, why do we listen to them?”
“We cannot call ourselves a vocational community, and even less a community of life, if the participation of some or others is missing.”
The Congregation invites consecrated men and women to the synodal journey of participation “strong in the conviction that we can only receive and give Good” because, as Pope Francis says, consecrated life is born, grows and can give evangelical fruits only in the Church, the living communion of the faithful People of God.
On this World Day for Consecrated Life …
We pray for those who are consecrated to God by the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience:
May they always reveal the love of Christ to those they encounter and continue to enrich our world.
We pray for all those who are discerning their vocation in life, particularly those whom the Lord is calling to consecrated life:
May they be given the wisdom to hear God’s call and the courage to respond generously.
Lord hear our prayer.
We pray for those who are called to the consecrated life:
May they be faithful witnesses of God’s love.
We pray for all who actively support the promotion of vocations to consecrated life:
May they may see the fruit of their efforts in a rich harvest of vocations.
May the life and mission of the men and women in consecrated life be a means of sanctification for them, building up the kingdom of God.
We remember all men and women preparing for consecrated life:
May their days of formation be filled with joy, peace and the certainty of God’s love.