In anticipation of the World Day for Consecrated Life, on 2nd February all religious in the diocese were invited to a special Mass at Westminster Cathedral, celebrated by Cardinal Vincent on 1st February. The Cardinal welcomed representatives of the different orders and compared the different colours and charism of the orders in the diocese to the mosaics of the cathedral. He also thanked them for their prayers for the work of the diocese.
During his homily he talked about Pope Francis’ message for the Day for Consecrated Life from last year, which urges religious communities and orders not to become fearful or always to look to the past and not the future. The Cardinal explained how they were a vital part of the diocese, and should not feel separate. The Cardinal went on to remind them of the bonds that exist between all religious and consecrated life ‘our affection for one another arises from our singleness of purpose! Because our hearts are focussed on a shared mission, a shared Lord, that we greet each other, always, with a warmth and trust that can only be sustained in him. It is fitting for us to be brothers and sisters, having one Father, united in one Holy Spirit, trying always to live in harmony under one roof. ‘
The Mass for Consecrated Life is held every year not only to in celebration of the work of the religious of the diocese but also for a renewal of their commitment to follow Christ. After his homily Cardinal Vincent invited all of the religious and consecrated persons present to stand and ‘commit ourselves anew to our mission of serving God’s kingdom the Church’.
At a celebratory gathering in Cathedral Hall after Mass, Cardinal Vincent congratulated all those who have special anniversaries this year, including Sr Petronia who shared her experience of visiting the Holy Land on her anniversary here.