July 16 was a special day for religious women in the Diocese of Lansing. About 150 Sisters gathered at the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Monastery in Ann Arbor for prayer, conversation and a meal.
The Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist not only opened their home that day to the religious women who attended, but they opened their hearts as well. Each person was greeted warmly upon arrival, the welcome by Mother Assumpta Long only enriched our time together, the prayer reflected on our common mission, the meal, prepared by the Sisters, lacked for nothing, Sister Rita Wenzlick provided a brief reflection on our common mission, talking about the importance of relationship and listening to one another and the day ended with singing by some of the SMME sisters.
Reports indicate that the day was a success with hope that there will be more gatherings in the future.
The Year of Consecrated Life, convoked by Pope Francis at the end of 2014 and which began with a prayer vigil in November of the same year in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major, closes tomorrow with a solemn Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in St. Peter's Basilica. Along the way there have been events, seminars, chains of prayer in monasteries around the world, and an encounter between consecrated persons of different Christian confessions which, the Pontiff affirmed, is an initiative that it would be useful to continue. < click here for more >
“The Consecrated Life, deeply rooted in the example and teaching of Christ the Lord, is a gift of God the father to his Church through the Holy Spirit. By the profession of the evangelical counsels the characteristic features of Jesus – the chaste, poor and obedient one—are made constantly “visible” in the midst of the world and the eyes of the faithful are directed towards the mystery of the Kingdom of God already at work in history, even as it awaits its full realization in heaven.
"In every age there have been men and women who, obedient to the Father’s call and to the prompting of the Spirit, have chosen this special way of following Christ, in order to devote themselves to him with an “undivided” heart (cf. 1 Cor 7:34). Like the Apostles, they too have left everything behind in order to be with Christ and to put themselves, as he did, at the service of God and their brothers and sisters. In this way, through the many charisms of spiritual and apostolic life bestowed on them by the Holy Spirit, they have helped to make the mystery and mission of the Church shine forth, and in doing so have contributed to the renewal of society.” (Vita Consecrata, Introduction)
Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, - "Community Life and Mission: Toward a Future Full of Hope" - lecture at the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life (CSCL) symposium at Catholic Theological Union