Pope Francis, who called for this observance, has asked all Catholics to thank God for the gifts members of religious orders have given the church and the world, to join them in prayer and find practical ways to support them and their ministries.
“Let them know the affection and the warmth which the entire Christian people feels for them,” the pope said in a letter issued for the special year.
As part of The Record’s coverage of the Year of Consecrated Life, a new feature will appear in print and online each month for the next year profiling a member of a religious order serving in the Archdiocese of Louisville. The first of these profiles Benedictine Sister Kathleen Marie Cash, who shares about her life as a teacher and a religious. Additional profiles will be published online periodically.
On Feb. 15, local religious communities are planning to hold open houses from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. A full listing of these will be published in next week’s paper.
In the pope’s letter for the year, he addressed women and men religious, explaining that while he was writing as pope, he was also writing as a Jesuit, “a brother who, like yourselves, is consecrated to the Lord.”
Knowing the gifts and challenges of religious life from the inside, Pope Francis urged religious to “look to the past with gratitude,” rediscovering the way their predecessors read “the signs of the times” and responded with creativity.
The Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court, issued a note Nov. 28 specifying that both lay and consecrated people can receive an indulgence for participating in events related to the Year of Consecrated Life, going to confession, receiving the Eucharist and offering prayers for the intentions of the pope.