Franciscan Footprints

Day of Consecrated Life 2014

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, when our Lord Jesus Christ was presented in the temple by Mary and Joseph as an infant, is also annually celebrated as the Day of Consecrated Life.  So, why this day?

This year Bishop Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria invited all those in the consecrated life to come to the cathedral for Mass on Feast of the Presentation, February 2.  It was a beautiful Mass.  (Sorry, I was being a little selfish.  I didn’t bother taking pictures.)  But, and here is what I was getting at, the bishop had a great homily which explained why we celebrate the Day of Consecrated Life on that day.  And they did take a video of the homily, so you can listen to it yourself.  He starts by talking about love, then the presentation in the temple and then the consecrated life.  Special thanks to Julie, one of the consecrated virgins in the diocese, for taking the video.

“But all religious communities were (I think I may have missed a word here) intentionally established as schools of love, where Christ, the Spouse of the soul, might be served and embraced.” A quote or near quote from Bishop Jenky’s homily, February 2, 2014.

Pope Francis also spoke about consecrated life that day after the Angelus.  He mentioned during his speech that 2015 will be dedicated in a special way to consecrated life.

“This belonging to the Lord permits those who live it in an authentic way to offer a special witness of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.”

One thing that neither of these two talks do is spell out exactly who is considered to be living the consecrated life.  We are all consecrated in Baptism, but, when they talk about consecrated life, they are referring to something more than that.  So here is the definition from Canon law, “Consecrated persons are lay persons or clerics who assume the evangelical counsels (chastity, poverty and obedience) by means of a sacred bond, and become members of an institute of consecrated life (can. 573.2).” The Different Vocations page on our website goes into more detail about which groups fall under the title consecrated life. 

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