By Doris Yu
December 4, 2014 — From the Sisters of St. Joseph to the Dominicans, from diocesan priests to Jesuits, religious vocations in the Catholic Church will be celebrated in 2015, which Pope Francis has named as the Year of Consecrated Life.
The Year of Consecrated Life begins this Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent, and ends with the World Day of Consecrated Life on Feb. 2, 2016. According to the National Religious Vocation Conference, the global celebration will encourage a spirit of renewal for men and women in religious life, express thanksgiving for their service and invite young Catholics to learn more about and consider a religious vocation.
The Church’s largest order of priests and brothers — the Jesuits — will be among the many participating in events.
Loyola Productions, a Jesuit-affiliated video and multimedia production company, will produce a film on brothers’ vocations. In addition, the national website of the Society of Jesus in the U.S., Jesuits.org, is offering the Igniting Our Values 2015 Lenten/Easter prayer and reflection program, a vocation pilgrimage coinciding with the Year of Consecrated Life.
Events planned by other religious orders include an open house for religious communities on Feb. 8, 2015, a Day of Mission and Service with Religious in the summer of 2015, and the Day of Prayer with Religious scheduled for Sept. 13, 2015.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Year of Consecrated Life page includes videos, activity suggestions, prayers and other resources; and the National Religious Vocation Conference offers a page with resources for parishes looking to promote the Year of Consecrated Life.
Jesuit Brother Michael Breault, director of national vocation promotion at the Jesuit Conference, believes the Year of Consecrated Life is a good way to encourage vocations and affirm those devoted to religious life. “This is a wonderful invitation for both religious and lay people to celebrate all that consecrated life has to offer,” he says. “All are welcome to share our joy and walk together as brothers and sisters in Christ, whether or not you are devoted to consecrated life.”
Learn more about the Year of Consecrated Life in the news clip from Rome Reports below.