In 2013, Pope Francis declared that the worldwide Church will celebrate a Year of Consecrated Life, starting on the First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014, and ending on the World Day of Consecrated Life, February 2, 2016. This year has been set aside by the Pope as a time of renewal for those who have publicly professed to living a life totally dedicated to God. The Year of Consecrated Life also gives all of us an opportunity to remember the many sisters, brothers, priests, and lay persons who have touched our own lives through their example of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Finally, the Year calls all people of faith to look to the future with greater hope so that the way we live will “wake up the world!” in the words of Pope Francis.
Speaking about the religious life, the Pope said, “The Church must be attractive. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, of acting, of living! It is possible to live differently in this world.” (“Wake Up the World: Conversation with Pope Francis about the Religious Life,” by Antonio Spadaro, SJ)
The Diocese of San Jose will mark this Year of Consecrated Life with several events and opportunities for each of us to remember, thank, and imitate the example of the professed women and men who have been and continue to be models of faith in our churches, schools, and communities.
Bishop McGrath has written a message to mark the beginning of this Year of Consecrated Life. The Bishop also asks that you include intercessions for those in consecrated life in your Sunday and daily prayer. The following intercessions are suggested for use on the First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014, and throughout the first part of this Year of Consecrated Life.
For the women and men, sisters, brothers, religious priests, consecrated virgins and hermits,
who have pursued consecrated lives and are courageous witnesses of faith and models of inspirations.
May their example continue to enrich the church by calling forth sons and daughters
who will serve with open hearts and willing spirits. We pray to the Lord.
For those who have responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be a consecrated person.
May they experience during this Year of Consecrated Life the support of the Church
as they continue their growth in holiness and as they read the signs of the times
to determine where God is calling them to serve. We pray to the Lord.