WASHINGTON—The 14th celebration of the annual World Day for Consecrated Life, Feb. 2, will be marked in the United States the weekend of Feb. 7. The occasion is celebrated in the United States on the Sunday following Feb. 2, to enable as much participation as possible.
World Day for Consecrated Life marks an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary contributions of men and women religious in this country as well as a time to pray for vocations to the consecrated life, according to a press release from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“The church is greatly blessed by the many contributions of consecrated men and women, through their ministries in the areas of education, health care, spiritual formation and social service,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.
“In particular, I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the service given by consecrated women, those who established the foundations in past generations and those serving in our midst today,” the cardinal said. “Also, in this Year for Priests, we extend our gratitude to religious order priests for their ongoing work of helping to build up the church. May this day provide all religious women and men an opportunity to experience a renewal of their vocation and commitment to consecrated life.”
A traveling exhibit on the contributions of women religious in the United States, Women & Spirit, will be on display at different museums in the nation during the year. It opened at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, Jan. 14, and will be there until April 25. Further information on this traveling exhibit can be found at www.womenandspirit.org.
The U.S. bishops have named the promotion of vocations to priesthood and consecrated life as one of their five priorities. A new Web site will be launched in April highlighting this gift to the church.