USCCB News Release
January 30, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Consecrated Life Day to be Marked in United States Feb. 8
WASHINGTON—The celebration of the annual World Day for Consecrated Life, February 2, will be marked in the United States Feb. 8. The event was inaugurated by the Vatican in 1997. The occasion is celebrated in the United States on the Sunday following Feb. 2 to enable as much participation in parish, diocesan and religious order celebrations as possible.
World Day for Consecrated Life marks an opportunity to highlight the extraordinary contributions of the men and women religious in this country as well as a time to pray for vocations to the consecrated life.
"We Americans owe a huge debt of gratitude to the religious in our nation. Their loyal service to our church and country are unparalleled," said Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM. Cap., chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.
"They are responsible for building two of the greatest gifts to our country: the Catholic school and the Catholic health care systems," he said.
"The presence of both apostolic and cloistered religious in our nation has been a source of spiritual comfort to many people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike," he added. "I don't know of any other country that can make such a boast."
More than 2.5 million students attend Catholic elementary and high schools. Almost 800,000 attend Catholic colleges and universities.
The nation's Catholic hospitals treat almost 84 million patients a year.