WASHINGTON (January 2, 2001) -- Dioceses and parishes nationwide will celebrate the 2001 World Day for Consecrated Life, February 3-4.
The annual event recognizes the men and women who have made a special commitment to the Church, often through religious life.
In the United States today there are an estimated 82,000 Sisters, 9,000 Brothers and 14,000 priests in religious orders who have committed themselves publicly to the Church in a special way. Most of them work in schools, parishes and diocesan institutions and have promised vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
In addition, many other men and women choose to make private commitments to the Church through secular institutes and other forms of consecrated life.
"These men and women who embrace the Consecrated Life are a great source of practical assistance and spiritual nourishment for our Church," said Bishop Joseph Fiorenza, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. "The life they have chosen benefits all of us and deserves special recognition."
The worldwide celebration of the Day for Consecrated Life is February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Pope John Paul II has called for annual celebrations to be held around the world to highlight the place of the Consecrated Life in contemporary society.
Previous celebrations in the United States have included special Masses to honor religious, public renewal of vows, parish receptions, diocesan dinners, panel discussions, guest speakers, and testimonies by men and women religious about what their commitment has meant to them.
More information on the 2001 World Day for Consecrated Life can be found on the Web at www.nccbuscc.org/vocations.consecrated.