“YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE 2015”
-Fr. Cedric Prakash sj
In an address to the heads of men’s religious orders participating in the 82nd general assembly of the Union of Superiors General in Rome on November 29th 2013, Pope Francis announced that 2015 will be a Year dedicated to ‘the Promotion of Consecrated Life’.
The year coincides with the 50th anniversaries of the Vatican Council and of the Decree ‘Perfectae Caritatis’ on religious life.
Unveiling the plan of the year, a few months ago, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CFCL) said, “We believe that the Council has been a breath of the Spirit not only for the whole Church but, perhaps especially, for the consecrated life. We are also convinced that in these 50 years, consecrated life has undertaken a fruitful journey of renewal — not free, certainly, of difficulties and hardships — in the commitment to follow what the Council asked of the consecrated: fidelity to the Lord, to the Church, to their own charism and to the people of today.”
The Year has three major objectives:
· to celebrate the golden anniversaries of the Second Vatican Council and of ‘Perfectae Caritatis’
· to live the present passionately
· to embrace the future with hope
The year will focus on:
· renewal for men and women in consecrated life
· thanksgiving among the faithful for the service of sisters, brothers, priests, and nuns
· invitation to young Catholics to consider a religious vocation
The year of consecrated life has for its theme “WAKE UP THE WORLD” and it will be launched by Pope Francis on November 29th – 30th2014 (the first Sunday of Advent) with an opening prayer vigil and Mass. It will conclude on February 2nd 2016, the World Day of Consecrated Life.
The CFCL has already issued a path-breaking document for the year entitled ‘REJOICE! A letter to consecrated men and women – A message from the teachings of Pope Francis’. This 70-page document is a fitting initiator and backgrounder for the year inviting all consecrated persons to rejoice in their consecration. The document also provides ten very pointed questions posed by Pope Francis (in the very first year of his Pontificate) to various stages of religious life. The document is also an invitation for consecrated persons to reflect individually and collectively on these questions.
What can be done in Ahmedabad Diocese during this year?
Several programmes / activities can be undertaken, during the fifteen-months period we are invited to celebrate this year; among the possibilitiesare:
· the Diocese could organise special programmes for the launch (November 30th 2014) and the conclusion (February 2nd 2016) of the year
· every Deanery could organize one Seminar and at least one day of recollection on the theme
· every Parish could organise at least two special programmes during the year to highlight the need and importance of consecrated life in the Church.
· the CRI of Ahmedabad could plan at least a programme a month in different parts of the Diocese
· every congregation in the diocese should take upon themselves to organize retreats / recollections / seminars / workshops and other related programmes on the theme particularly for youth
· the DOOT could have three to four pages every month highlighting the charism of the religious congregation working in the diocese and also special lead articles on consecrated life.
· religious in the Diocese should be encouraged to write articles on Consecrated Life and circulate these as much as possible
· there are several renewal programmes that will be organized nationally and internationally, religious congregations should be urged to send the younger members of their congregation to participate in them
Some related Websites
In the words of Pope Francis
“Today’s religious men and women need to be prophetic, “capable of waking up the world,” of showing they are a special breed who “have something to say” to the world today”
“The church must be attractive. Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, acting, living! (Show) It’s possible to live differently in this world.”
(This Presentation was made at the Priest Council meeting of the Ahmedabad Diocese held at Bishop’s House, Ahmedabad on September 29th, 2014)