YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE
November 30, 2014 - February 2, 2016
Pope Francis proclaimed a Year of Consecrated Life to be celebrated by the Church around the world from November 30, 2014 to February 2, 2016. In his words, the role of men and women religious is to "Wake up the world!" by their witness. The Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist and the Franciscan Brothers of the Eucharist join the universal Church in celebrating this special year.
In presenting the Year of Consecrated Life, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, explained the three objectives for the Year in light of the Holy Father's teachings:
". . . this Year dedicated to consecrated life has been prepared in the context of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and, more specifically, on the 50th anniversary of the publication of the conciliar decree on the renewal of consecrated life 'Perfectae caritatis'. … Because we recognize these 50 years that separate us from the Council as a moment of grace for consecrated life, as marked by the presence of the Spirit that leads us to live even our weaknesses and infidelities as an experience of God's mercy and love, we want this Year to be an occasion for 'gratefully remembering' this recent past. This is the first objective of the Year for Consecrated Life.”
“With a positive look at this time of grace between the Council and today, we want the second objective to be 'embracing the future with hope'. We are well aware that the present moment is 'difficult and delicate' … and that the crisis facing society and the Church herself fully touches upon the consecrated life. But we want to take this crisis not as an antechamber of death but as … an opportunity to grow in depth, and thus in hope, motivated by the certainty that the consecrated life will never disappear from the Church because 'it was desired by Jesus himself as an irremovable part of his Church'.”
This hope,” he concluded, “doesn't spare us—and the consecrated are well aware of this—from 'living the present passionately', and this is the third objective for the Year. … It will be an important moment for 'evangelizing' our vocation and for bearing witness to the beauty of the 'sequela Christi' in the many ways in which our lives are expressed. The consecrated take up the witness that has been left them by their respective founders and foundresses. … They want to 'awaken the world' with their prophetic witness, particularly with their presence at the existential margins of poverty and thought, as Pope Francis asked their superior generals.”
The Year is meant not only for religious men and women. It is a time for the laity and the clergy to learn more about consecrated life and to celebrate the gift it is for the Church. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has developed resources for parishes and dioceses. The Council of Major Superiors of Women is planning events for the Year. The Franciscan Sisters and Brothers will be participating in these initiatives which will be listed on this page as the Year develops.
We invite all our friends, supporters, co-workers and families to share our joy as we celebrate the gift of consecrated life.
Some helpful resources about the Year of Consecrated Life:
Presentation of Year of Consecrated Life - Vatican, January 31, 2014
Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis To All Consecrated People On the Occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life, November 21, 2014
USCCB Initiatives for the Year of Consecrated Life
Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life
National Religious Vocation Conference
Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious
For questions about consecrated life, go to "Ask a Question."