Presentation on theme: "The Year of Consecrated Life. Events for the Year of Consecrated Life (from the USCCB) February 8, 2015: Religious Open House. – Events will be coordinated."— Presentation transcript:
The Year of Consecrated Life
Events for the Year of Consecrated Life (from the USCCB) February 8, 2015: Religious Open House. – Events will be coordinated to also celebrate the World Meeting of Families to take place in Philadelphia and will include tours, open houses, receptions, family activities, and presentations on the history of religious communities at convents, abbeys, monasteries and religious houses Summer 2015: Day of Mission and Service with Religious. – Events will include joining religious in their apostolates or special service projects, such as assisting the elderly, ministering to the poor and homeless, and caring for the less fortunate. September 13, 2015: Day of Prayer with Religious. – Events will include vespers, rosary or holy hours in convents, monasteries, religious houses, parishes and churches.
What is the Consecrated Life?
All baptized Christians are “consecrated” (made holy) by the Sacraments and by their reception, though unworthy, of God’s freely given grace. That is the most important consecration that any Christian can receive, to be initiated into God’s Church
CCC 915 – the profession of the evangelical counsels (poverty, chastity, and obedience), within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God. What is Consecrated Life?
CCC 915 Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. The perfection of charity, to which all the faithful are called, entails for those who freely follow the call to consecrated life the obligation of practicing chastity in celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, poverty and obedience. It is the profession of these counsels, within a permanent state of life recognized by the Church, that characterizes the life consecrated to God. There’s another part to CCC 915…
Christ proposes the evangelical counsels, in their great variety, to every disciple. Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #915:
CCC 916 The state of consecrated life is thus one way of experiencing a “more intimate” consecration, rooted in Baptism and dedicated totally to God. In the consecrated life, Christ’s faithful, moved by the Holy Spirit, propose to follow Christ more nearly, to give themselves to God who is loved above all and, pursuing the perfection of charity in the service of the Kingdom, to signify and proclaim in the Church the glory of the world to come. Let’s read on…
The life consecrated through the profession of the evangelical counsels is a stable form of living by which the faithful, following Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit, are totally dedicated to God who is loved most of all, so that, having been dedicated by a new and special title to His honor, to the building up of the Church, and to the salvation of the world, they strive for the perfection of charity in the service of the kingdom of God and, having been made an outstanding sign in the Church, foretell the heavenly glory. Canon 573
USCCB Segment “3 Minutes”
Forms of Consecrated Life Religious Life – Contemplative – Active Hermits Consecrated Virgins Secular Institutes
CCC 932: - Follow and imitate Christ more nearly - Manifest more clearly his self- emptying - Encourage their brethren by their example, as those who are on this "narrower" path As Consecrated…
Discernment “Portraits of the Call”
Vita Consecrata Video Series Video One Video Two Video Eight
The Church recognizes the eremitic or anchoritic life by which the Christian faithful devote their life to the praise of God and salvation of the world through a stricter separation from the world, the silence of solitude and assiduous prayer and penance. Hermits bear witness to the impermanence of the world and the fact that we must always remember: that the most important goal in life is to be with the Lord. Vita Consecrata (7) Eremitic Life (Hermit)
A hermit is recognized in the law as one dedicated to God in a consecrated life if he or she publicly professes the three evangelical counsels, confirmed by a vow or other sacred bond, in the hands of the diocesan bishop and observes his or her own plan of life under his direction. What all have in common is a commitment, under vow to their bishop, to live poorly, chastely, and obediently a life of prayer within the silence of solitude. Eremitic Life
- The call to a life as a Consecrated Virgin is distinct from other forms of consecrated life in that it is entered by virtue of the Prayer of Consecration rather than by vows or promises. Characterized by a spousal spirituality with Christ, the consecrated virgin lives individually under the direction of the diocesan bishop, dedicates her prayer to the mission of the Church and the people of God, wears a ring of consecration, and earns her own living. Consecrated Virgins and Widows
Vita Consecrata (7) Consecrated Virgins embody the image of the Heavenly Bride and of the life that is to come. Consecrated widows and widowers serve as a sign of the Kingdom of God, devoting themselves to prayer and service of the Church.
CCC An institute of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful living in the world strive for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification of the world especially from within." CCC By a "life perfectly and entirely consecrated to [such] sanctification," the members of these institutes share in the Church's task of evangelization, "in the world and from within the world," where their presence acts as "leaven in the world." "Their witness of a Christian life" aims "to order temporal things according to God and inform the world with the power of the gospel." They commit themselves to the evangelical counsels by sacred bonds and observe among themselves the communion and fellowship appropriate to their "particular secular way of life.“ Secular Institutes
Code of Canon Law Societies of apostolic life resemble institutes of consecrated life; their members, without religious vows, pursue the apostolic purpose proper to the society and, leading a life in common as brothers or sisters according to their proper manner of life, strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions. - Among these are societies in which members assume the evangelical counsels by some bond defined in the constitutions. Societies of Apostolic Life
One of the distinguishing characteristics of these societies is that they are defined by their apostolic goal. They are bound by simple vows or “bonds”, renewed annually, rather than perpetual vows which are professed for life. Societies of apostolic life live in community with their lifestyle and spirituality in support of their apostolic goal. Examples: - Daughters of Charity - Maryknoll (Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters) - Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri (Oratorians) Societies of Apostolic Life
CCC 925 …distinguished from other forms of consecrated life by its liturgical character, public profession of the evangelical counsels, fraternal life led in common, and witness given to the union of Christ with the Church. Code of Canon Law 607 Religious Life, as a consecration of the whole person, manifests in the Church a wonderful marriage brought about by God, a sign of the future age. Thus the religious brings to perfection a total self-giving as a sacrifice offered to God, through which his or her whole existence becomes a continuous worship of God in charity. Religious Life
The Church is vital to this process. It acts as MEDIATOR between God and the person called. It receives and ratifies the vows of the consecrated one and assures them of the grace needed to live the life of holy consecration. It shows forth the unbreakable and eternal bond of love between Christ and His Bride, the Church. There is nothing to come between the religious person and God. There is nothing held back from Him. It is a way of life that reflects the life of Heaven because it is a life of TOTAL, LOVING UNION WITH GOD. Religious Life
Christian Brothers – Bl. Edmund Rice (CFC) Christian Brothers – Bl. Edmund Rice (CFC Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn (OSF) Franciscan Brothers of Peace (FBP) Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross (FFSC) Franciscan Brothers of the Holy Cross (FFSC) Franciscan Missionary Brothers (OFM) Holy Cross Brothers (CSC) Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God (OH) Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God (OH) Little Brothers of St. Francis (LBSF) Little Brothers of the Good Shepard (BGS) Little Brothers of the Good Shepard (BGS) Marist Brothers (FMS) Missionary Brothers of Charity (MC) Presentation Brothers (FPM) Xaverian Brothers (CFX) INSTITUTES OF RELIGIOUS BROTHERS IN THE U.S. Alexian Brothers (CFA) Brigittine Monks (OSsS) Brotherhood of Hope (BH) Brothers of Charity (FC) Brothers of Christian Instruction (FIC) Brothers of Mercy (FMM) Brothers of Our Lady Mother of Mercy (CFMM) Brothers of Our Lady Mother of Mercy (CFMM) Brothers of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (FSR) Brothers of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (FSR) Brothers of St. Patrick (FSP) Brothers of St. Pius X (CSPX) Brothers of Christian Schools (FSC) Brothers of the Holy Eucharist (FSE) Brothers of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Brothers of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Brothers of the Poor of St. Francis (CFP) Brothers of the Sacred Heart (SC)
Lumen Gentium (44) “The profession of the evangelical counsels, then, appears as a sign which can and ought to attract all the members of the Church to an effective and prompt fulfillment of the duties of their Christian vocation. The people of God have no lasting city here below, but look forward to one that is to come. Since this is so, the religious state, whose purpose is to free its members from earthly cares, more fully manifests to all believers the presence of heavenly goods already possessed here below. Furthermore, it not only witnesses to the fact of a new and eternal life acquired by the redemption of Christ, but it foretells the future resurrection and the glory of the heavenly kingdom.
Lumen Gentium cont. Christ proposed to His disciples this form of life, which He, as the Son of God, accepted in entering this world to do the will of the Father. This same state of life is accurately exemplified and perpetually made present in the Church. The religious state clearly manifests that the Kingdom of God and its needs, in a very special way, are raised above all earthly considerations. Finally it clearly shows all men both the unsurpassed breadth of the strength of Christ the King and the infinite power of the Holy Spirit marvelously working in the Church.”
Consecration: Active or Passive?
Why the Consecrated Life? Because God calls people to it! If someone discerns they have a vocation to the consecrated life, that means they believe that God is inviting them to be consecrated to Him in a special way.
Why the Consecrated Life? Consecrated persons desire to live in such a way that their lives point toward Heaven.
Testimony of Sacred Scripture Luke 18 – The Rich Young Man Luke 20 – “Whose wife will she be?” Matthew 19 – On Divorce and Remarriage 1 Cor. 7 – Remain single as I do 1 Tim 5 – Rules for Widows
Testimony of Jesus’ Life Luke 9:57-58 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
A Preview of HEAVEN! Recall that Jesus teaches that there will not be marriage in eternity Consecrated Life is then, an attempt to begin living the life of heaven while still on earth Why the Consecrated Life?
The Year of Consecrated Life Activity Suggestions (from the USCCB)
Suggestions for Parishes to Foster Vocations to Consecrated Life 1.Invite a woman or a man (brother or priest) in consecrated life to be introduced to the congregation and to greet parishioners at the door of the church after Mass on days celebrating religious life such as the World Day for Consecrated Life or the World Day for Prayer for Vocations. 2.Suggest that parishioners visit a monastery of cloistered monks or nuns to join in prayer or perhaps to make a spiritual retreat. 3.Encourage members of the church to pray for vocations to religious life at the Prayer of the Faithful. 4.Commit resources for promotion of religious order sisters, brothers and priests. 5.Sponsor diocesan adult education programs that teach about the role of religious in the Church. 6.Host annual gatherings of young religious within the diocese and/or region.
Suggestions for Families to Foster Vocations to Consecrated Life 1.Pray for vocations to religious life as a family. 2.Talk with a religious about her/his vocation. 3.If your parish has a vocations committee, learn about their activities and participate in at least one program. If there is no vocation committee, work with other parishioners and the pastor to begin one. 4.Discover a ministry in your area that is sponsored by a religious community and talk with the Mission Director about what makes this ministry unique. If possible, volunteer at the ministry site as a family. 5.Suggest to a single person in your parish the possibility of considering a religious vocation.
Suggestions for Families to Foster Vocations to Consecrated Life 1.Write a letter to your local bishop suggesting a Vocations Fair or Adoration Hour for vocations. Offer to help organize this. 2.Make 10 minutes for silent reading of Sacred Scripture. Offer this time for the intention of those considering Consecrated Life. 3.Pray in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament for the intention of vocations to the Consecrated Life. 4.At grace before meals, add the following: “We ask, O Lord, that you let more men and women hear the call to serve you as a priest, brother or sister. Amen.” 5.At supper some night, tell family members about a religious who has meant something to you, perhaps someone you met in school, in the hospital, in the parish or elsewhere.
Building a Vocation Culture
To create an atmosphere or vocation culture, The Third Continental Congress on Vocations in North America (2002), suggested five actions which comprise its Plan: – To Pray: to be holy, to be converted, to worship – To Evangelize: to teach, to form, to catechize – To Experience: worship, community, service, witness – To Mentor: to accompany, to guide, to model – To Invite: to discern, to choose, to commit Compliments of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry How to Build a Vocation Culture
The resources here will help you implement these actions. These are some ways in which youth directors can collaborate in building a vocation culture: – When planning programs for youth, find opportunities to vitalize and nurture their faith and spiritual renewal. – Live with passion and conviction your vocation to proclaim the Gospel inviting young people to discern their own call. – Invite religious and priests to be present in youth activities and program. Compliments of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry How to Build a Vocation Culture
Best Practices for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life for Campus Ministries Eucharistic Adoration – Make it available often, daily if possible – Preach on the true Presence Confession – Creates an awareness of sin, and a need for mercy – Leads students to strive for greater conversion Spiritual Direction – Teaches them the importance of daily prayer – Holds them accountable for prayer – Instills in them a fundamental call to holiness Pilgrimage/Retreat/Conference – ‘jump starts’ the spiritual life – Takes them out of their normal surroundings to encounter God Service Projects Seminary Visits/Nun runs – or bring Seminarians and young Sisters to visit the Campus Compliments of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry
Best Practices for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life Discernment Groups – Helps each student to realize they are called specifically by God – Groups let them know they are not alone and that others can help them on their journey Cultivating Christ-centered friendships – Teaches them how to have fun in a holy and wholesome way Daily presence of priests or sisters – Students need to see priests or sisters at prayer on a daily basis – They also need to interact with them on a daily basis Catechetical Formation – This could be number one but young Catholics generally do not know their faith – Introducing them to the riches of the intellectual patrimony of the Church opens them to a deeper understanding of God and their role in God’s plan Compliments of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry
USCCB Website (www.usccb.org)
Light of Love
USCCB “Living a Consecrated Life”
Catholic Religious Life Dictionary
The Vocation to the Priesthood
Fishers of Men
To Be A Priest
Fr. Robert Barron “How Should I Discern the Priesthood?