Each year, the Catholic Church celebrates World Day for Consecrated Life, a celebration instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997.
This observance coincides with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on Feb. 2 , also known as Candlemas Day, commemorating the coming of Christ, the Light of the World, through the symbolic lighting of candles. Similarly, consecrated men and women are called to spread the light and love of Jesus Christ through their unique witness of selfless service, such as caring for the poor, the contemplative work of prayer, or through their professional careers.
Parishes in the Diocese of Trenton are invited to celebrate consecrated life during the weekend of Feb. 6-7 in recognition of the essential role of consecrated persons in the life of the Church. As engaged members of their local communities, consecrated men and women bring the presence of Jesus to all they encounter throughout their day, allowing his Spirit to live and move within them so that the truth of the Gospel can be proclaimed to all.
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., marked the occasion by quoting Pope Francis: “Religious life ought to promote growth in the Church by way of attraction. The Church must be attractive. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, a different way of acting, of living! It is possible to live differently in this world.”
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In an essay for World Day of Consecrated Life, Sister Rose McDermott, S.S.J., Delegate for Religious, writes: In his Jan. 18, 2021 letter to consecrated persons marking this occasion, Cardinal João Braz de’Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, called on all consecrated women and men of religious and secular institutes, societies of apostolic life, consecrated virgins and hermits “to be today’s Samaritans – to move beyond ourselves, embracing the pain, suffering, and poverty of so many men and women throughout the world.”
. . . As I reflected on these exhortations, I came to the realization that this is a clarion call not only to those of us in the various forms of “consecrated life,” but to all of our brothers and sisters, the Christian faithful, consecrated through Baptism and made sharers in Christ’s three-fold ministry. While the term “consecrated life” applies in a more specific way to those following Christ through the evangelical counsels, all Christians are consecrated and sent forth through Baptism to build up the Church and bear witness to the world.
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The closure of the Chancery offices in Lawrenceville will be extended through Feb. 2 due to the ongoing snow emergency. The previous shutdown for COVID concerns in the Chancery had ended and the offices were scheduled to reopen Feb. 1. Normal operations will now resume after the snow closure. Check back here for updates.
Chancery staff continue to work remotely and can be reached via email. For a directory of offices, departments and ministries, visit dioceseoftrenton.org/our-offices-and-ministries.