WASHINGTON (March 15, 2000) -- The Jubilee Day for Single Persons will be celebrated April 27 by the Church in the United States.
The celebration is one of several being marked in the Church worldwide to mark the turn of the millennium and the start of another century.
Church officials note two goals for the occasion: To celebrate the gift of single people in society and in the Church, and to draw attention to the needs and gifts of single people in the Catholic faith community.
To assist dioceses and groups in noting the event, the U.S. Bishops' Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth has developed "One Chosen and Called in Christ," a resource aid for those planning to celebrate the Jubilee Day for Single Persons.
The eight-page booklet contains suggestions for parishes and dioceses and speaks of the challenges of defining single persons.
"Often an attempt is made to understand a single person as: one who is neither married nor living in Holy Orders or in vowed religious life," the booklet notes. "However, defining single persons by 'what they are not' does not always speak to the diversity of the single population. Some are single by circumstance and some are single by choice. There are those who are single yet open to the prospect of marriage, priesthood or religious life, and there are those who feel called to live the vocation of the single life. There are those who find themselves 'single again' after separation, divorce, or death of a spouse."
The resource material also includes such aids as the Prayer of a Single Person, single role models, and suggestions of Nine Ways to Live Jubilee as a Single Person.
Parishes and dioceses are encouraged to design individual ways to celebrate the lives of single people within their communities.
The Jubilee Day for Singles is among 34 jubilee days listed in a calendar released last summer by the U.S. Bishops' Subcommittee on the Jubilee Year 2000. The calendar includes both international celebrations announced by the Vatican and additional ones designated by the U.S. Bishops. On March 25, the Vatican and the United States will mark the Jubilee Day for Women.
A Day for Lay Ministry will be marked in the United States November 26, and celebrate the fact that lay men and women serve at many levels in the Church and that 30,000 men and women are studying in lay ministry programs currently.
The Jubilee Day for Single Persons resource booklet is available online at www.nccbuscc.org/laity or can be ordered for $2 from the Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth by calling 202-541-3040.