Friday, January 31, 2014

Pope Francis will dedicate 2015 to the 'Year of Consecrated Life





It's official. The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis will dedicate 2015 to the 'Year of Consecrated Life.' During this press conference, some key details were released.

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"It's a great time to grow and deepen the faith. Part of this is driven by the hope and the certainty that consecrated life will never disappear from the Church.”

Some details are still being sorted out, but the Congregation for Consecrated Life hopes the Pope will kick things off on November 2014 and conclude one year later. The goals will include reflecting on the unique role religious men and women have in the Church. Everything from their charisms to their challenges. Among them for example, why some decide to leave their vocation.

According to recent data, out of 1,000 religious, about 2.5 leave their vocation. That breaks down to about 13,000 people between 2008 and 2012.

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"We need to shatter that misconception. The notion that when one begins their consecrated life, they automatically become perfect. The notion, that for example, a mother, will never be perfect, but a consecrated person will. This is wrong! We should embrace the realities of fraternal life. Another issue we see is that consecrated life has sometimes followed an individualistic pattern.”

Each religious order has its own charism.  Cardinal Braz de Aviz believes that dedicating a year to Consecrated Life, will give religious the time and resources to reflect on what their personal vocation and charism is really all about.

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"The mistake is to think that a charism is already defined and done with. Well, that mentality is like taking a right away from God. If He has given an order a certain charism, then He conserves it and only He can end it if He so wishes. But not us...this is one of the errors we see nowadays.”

What about cases where founders have started orders while leading less than exemplary lives? That issue was also raised during the press conference. Especially in light of Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

CARD. JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ
Prefect, Congregation for Consecrated Life
"It's important to separate the grace of a specific charism from the founder. Sometimes their life coincides with their charism. But we also see cases where the founder does not lead a life that corresponds with the order's charism.”

The Year of Consecrated Life will include meetings between young religious and the Pope, international prayer chains carried out by cloistered nuns, and also large scale exhibits in Rome.

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