On the feast of the Presentation of the Lord each year, the Church also celebrates the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. Instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997, the theme chosen this year is: 'Pilgrims of Hope on the Path of Peace'. On this day, all consecrated men and women are invited to renew their commitment ‘to follow Christ, as joyful messengers of the good news of the Gospel.’
This year was no different, with a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent on 3rd February at Westminster Cathedral to mark the great witness of those who have been consecrated to go out and share the Gospel.
In his homily, Cardinal Vincent drew attention to this witness, saying, ‘it’s probably impossible to calculate the contribution and impact that religious women and men make in the lives of other people.
‘Think of the leadership roles that you have been fulfilling, think of the example you’ve given quietly day by day and continue to do so. I think of leadership in education institutions like our schools. Think of all the teaching that has passed through your hands and actions to countless children. The nursing that you have given and imbued with that great sense of faith and prayer. The catechesis in parishes that you assist. The social outreach, especially gathering in the lost and the marginalised.
‘These are just some of the responses of the women and men in religious life, to the presentation of the Lord God Jesus. To those tasks, you bring wisdom and experience, often great courage and bold judgement, patience and an enduring enthusiasm and so much more.
‘So thank you very much indeed.’
Several individuals were also celebrating a jubilee, with threeSilver Jubilarians, two Golden Jubilarians, four Diamond Jubilarians and one Platinum Jubilarian. Cardinal Vincent especially congratulated Sr Bernadette O’Malley on her 75th Anniversary of her profession.
After the homily, all religious were invited to renew their commitment. Mass was followed by a reception in the Cathedral Hall.