WASHINGTON (January 8, 2001) -- Parishes and dioceses nationwide will highlight members of religious orders and institutes of consecrated life, the weekend of Feb. 3-4, as part of the World Day for Consecrated Life.
The Vatican-initiated celebration is slated for February 2 worldwide. The U.S. bishops traditionally mark the occasion the following weekend to enable as much participation as possible.
Several dioceses have urged parish celebrations. The Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin, for example, distributed ideas on how to mark the occasion to all priests, deacons, parish directors and pastoral associates. In the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois, persons will be asked to speak about the consecrated life during Masses. In the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., the diocese has recommended that religious serve as lectors, Eucharistic ministers and speakers at local liturgies.
The Superior diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Herald, will publish a special spread on the theme "Consecrated Life: A Gift to Rural Ministry" which will include articles written by Bishop Raphael Fliss and several religious. The Diocese of Pittsburgh will run a large ad in the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper thanking members of the consecrated life for their gifts and listing all the communities of priests and religious in the diocese.
In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, a religious sister and brother will be featured guests on the diocesan weekly radio show hosted by Christine Bonahoom-Nix.
The Diocese of Orange, California, will hold a Vespers service, February 3, which will be open to all priests, deacons, Brothers, Sisters and lay people. Prior to the service, the diocese will host a reception honoring the jubilarians among the men and women religious, with refreshments provided by the Knights of Columbus and Serra Clubs. On February 4, in the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware,
Bishop Michael Salterelli will lead Vespers for the occasion. In the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, there will be three Vespers services open to all, one on the third, and two on the fourth, both followed by receptions. Pastors also have been asked to highlight religious during local Masses that weekend. A Vespers service also is planned in the Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado.
In the Diocese of San Angelo, Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI, will dedicate a new Carmelite Monastery, February 3, in the town of Christoval. The public will be welcomed to join in festivities for the occasion and to tour the monastery which eventually will be characterized by silence, solitude and space for prayer.
The Diocese of Venice, Florida, will offer a special Mass, February 4, celebrated by Bishop John Nevins and followed by a dinner to honor jubilarians. The Diocese of Colorado Springs also will have a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Richard Hanifen, followed by a luncheon. The Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, will have a special Mass offered by Archbishop John Vlazny followed by a reception.
In the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, the annual celebration will include a speaker who will address a theme pertinent to religious life, followed by Mass and dinner. The local Serra organization is a strong supporter of the day.
The Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, urges parishes to invite religious to serve as lectors, Eucharistic ministers, speakers, and ushers at Mass, Feb. 3-4. The diocese also urges religious to return to their home parishes to tell the story of their vocation or to return to a parish where they once served. The diocese also urged religious to renew their vows at a parish Mass.
In the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, the diocesan celebration will be held during the weekly televised Mass from the cathedral. Bishop Edmond Carmody will celebrate the Mass and religious will process into the cathedral and serve as lectors, participate in the Offertory procession and read the intercessions. Local parishes will be asked to have similar celebrations. In the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, a Saturday evening Mass at the cathedral, celebrated by Bishop Armando Ochoa, will honor religious.