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Posts Tagged ‘consecrated life’

By: Caitlin Bootsma

This Sunday is the World Day for Consecrated Life, a celebration established for the universal Church by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1997. Growing up, if I thought about it all, I would have said that “consecrated” was simply synonymous with “nuns” and “monks.” However, this designation actually applies to a myriad of men and women who are dedicated to the kingdom of God, including sisters, brothers, priests in religious orders, consecrated virgins, hermits and members of Secular Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life (you can see a list here).

Jesus Himself was the model of consecrated life – remaining celibate and giving His entire life for the Church (even to the point of death). In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus affirms the validity of the consecrated life saying, “Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:12).

Sisters of Life at the recent Life is Very Good rally (photo: Stephanie Richer)

Sisters of Life at the recent Life is Very Good rally (photo: Stephanie Richer)

Sunday is an opportunity for us to thank God for the many saintly men and women who consecrated themselves to the Lord for the good of the Church throughout history. In a particular way, we can pray for those consecrated that we’ve known in our life, for the strength of their vocation. Whether that be a religious sister who taught us in grade school, a hermit who prays for our intentions or a consecrated man or woman living in the world. We can, as well, pray for all of those who may be discerning a call to this way of life.

Bishop Loverde tells us,“I join all the members of our diocesan Church of Arlington in thanking God for the gift of consecrated life in the Church and in asking Him to renew in all the men and women living the consecrated life…a spirit of deepening intimacy with their Spouse the Lord Jesus and of faithful service to the Body of Christ and to the human family. I especially ask us to pray for those living the consecrated life within this diocese and, in your name and mine, I thank each of them for their service here” (statement for World Day for Consecrated Life, 2011)

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By: Caitlin Forst

In the end, the Seminarians beat the Quo Vadis Men

Diocesan seminarians teamed up to play Quo Vadis, a high school men’s discernment group, in basketball during the second annual Hoops Challenge. It was a fierce competition, certainly, but it was also an opportunity for these groups to gather together. The teams and many of those watching had a common interest: seeking God’s guidance in their lives.

January 10-15 is National Vocations Awareness Week in the United States. It’s true that we should always be aware of how and where God is calling us, but we often get distracted. This week helps us to focus on vocational discernment.

You may have heard a seminarian tell his vocation story this past Sunday at your parish. Perhaps he mentioned that at one point he heard God’s call in his life, but for a while he was distracted by other endeavors. If that sort of distraction sounds familiar, this week is an opportunity to spend some time in prayer asking God for direction in your life.

This week is not only for young people, but for each of us to renew our dedication to living lives of holiness. Even if you are already a spouse, parent, religious, consecrated lay person or a priest, we still need continual grace to live our vocations.

Fr. Bashista leads the seminarians and Quo Vadis men in prayer of thanksgiving after the game.

Also, as part of the Body of Christ, we are called to pray that each laborer in God’s vineyard follows the Lord’s invitation to follow Him in the vocation He has chosen for him or her, building up the people of God.

Take a moment to join us the following prayer and  visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s site, For Your Vocation:

Father in heaven, you sent us your
only Son to redeem us and to build
your kingdom on earth. Please give
us the wisdom and strength we need
to follow His call. Grant to the faithful
a spirit of generosity, that Church
vocations may flourish. Bless our
priests with holiness and courage,
that they may lead your people to
Christ. Help all sisters and brothers
to fulfill their sacred promises and so
be effective signs of your kingdom.
Lord, invite more men and women
to your service. We ask this through
Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Check out all of the photos from the Hoops Challenge here!)

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