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Weekly Bulletin February 7, 2021
by Terrie Evans
On this 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time we honor all those men and women religious on this World Day for Consecrated Life. This day is set aside to commemorate those in the Catholic Church who have lived to follow Jesus Christ. Consecration – is any formal designation of a person, place or thing for the service of God that is characterized by the public profession of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Those faithful following this stable form of living strive for dedicated service for the kingdom of God with different forms of Consecrated Life that may be lived in institutes or individually. Congregations were not recognized until the 16th when only institutions granted solemn vows as most simple vows were bestowed on those oriented toward social service and for the evangelization throughout Europe and in mission areas. It wasn’t until December 8, 1900 that they were finally approved and recognized as religious.
During the French Revolution, the government tried to abolish the Christianization of the country of France. The French government had forbidden any form of religious life when the Jesuit, Fr. Pierre-Joseph Picot de Cloriviere founded a new society, the Institute of the Heart of Jesus. He also founded The Daughters of the Heart of Mary. In other Catholic Countries, congregations increased as a result of depriving thousands of monks and nuns their income that was always controlled and held by their communities. This forced them to find a new way for them to continue their way of living a religious life as a secular institute to avoid being a religious society by the government.
On February 2, 1947, Pope Pius XII recognized secular institutes as a new category of the state of perfection and in 1983, the Code of cannon Law recognized secular institutes as a form of consecrated life. Secular institutes are those “in which the Christian faithful, living in the world, strives for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification of the world especially within”.
Prayers of the Faithful for Consecrated Life: “For those Consecrated to God by the vows of Chasity, Poverty, and Obedience that they may seek to live their baptismal promises more intensely and have the grace to persevere in their commitment to the Lord and serve with open hearts and willing spirits. We pray to the Lord…. For those who have responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be a consecrated person that they may experience the support of the Church as they continue their growth in holiness. We pray to the Lord…”
Please remember Ash Wednesday and the start of the season of Lent is February 17th. San Antonio Church will have Mass and a distribution of Ashes at 12:00 noon with Fr. Len Wenke officiating.