The global Church will ring in a new year on the first Sunday of Advent by dedicating it to the faithful whose vows of poverty, chastity and obedience serve to illuminate heaven on earth.
Pope Francis proclaimed 2015 the Year of Consecrated Life, which begins the weekend of Nov. 29 and ends on the World Day of Consecrated Life, Feb. 2, 2016.
“Consecrated life represents a function of the Church not represented elsewhere,” said Fr. Bob Rossi, OSC, a Crosier priest living in community in the Valley. “Consecrated people live a radical lifestyle. We are a prophetic voice and the way we live is a little piece of heaven.”
When the Church speaks of consecrated people, it means those who dedicate themselves completely to living for the kingdom of God within a community.
“They live out the Gospel zeal in a particular way,” said Fr. Matt Lowry, chaplain of Holy Trinity Catholic Newman Center in Flagstaff, and associate director of vocations for the diocese. “They’re the ones that pray for us and give us witness and as a Church it’s a reminder to be people of prayer, first and foremost.”
In a world that idolizes money, sex and power, the consecrated person lives a counter-cultural lifestyle as a witness to joy, the fruitfulness of self-giving love, the beauty of faith and to the fullness of love found in the heart of Christ.
“In our time of history, when there is so much darkness and confusion about God, religion, truth and authentic love, Religious are called to be prophetic witnesses,” said Sr. Mary Fidelis, PCPA, vocation directress for the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in Tonopah. “Religious Life is a beacon of hope to the whole world. During this Year of Consecrated Life, I pray that this beacon will shine with an ever brighter light, so as to lead many souls to Christ.
Year of Consecrated Life
The Diocese of Phoenix and various religious communities serving here are offering a series of events to celebrate and learn more about consecrated life:
- Morning of Discernment for single women and men: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Nov. 22 at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 400 E. Monroe St. Info: email@example.com.
- Opening Mass: 9 a.m. Nov. 23 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, 6351 N. 27th and broadcast live on AZTV 7/13. A Spanish liturgy will be 8 a.m. Nov. 23 at St. Mary Parish, 230 W. Galveston St. in Chandler and broadcast live on KPHE-TV 44.
- Advent with the Poor Clares: If not on their regular mailing list, request a free Advent Compendium dedicated to the Year for Consecrated Life with prayers and a resource guide. Each sister shared a reflection on what she finds most beautiful about the Religious Life. Email mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Look for blog reflections, on religious life, “Ruminations on Renewal,” beginning Nov. 30.
Go to desertnuns.com for info on monthly Eucharistic Holy Hour to intercede for all religious and for vocations, an open house and the annual Nun Run in 2015.