18 February 2016

The Consecrated Life


International meeting in Rome for the closure of the Year of Consecrated Life

Over 5000 members of various Institutes, among them 25 Marist Brothers responded to the invitation of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) to attend a meeting in Rome from 28th January to 2nd February.

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Brother Bernhard Seigel was one of two representatives from this Province. He has sent the following report in which he highlights, among other things, the main points of the various contributions from the speakers.

The Consecrated Life is prophetic. God stands on the side of the poor. The Pope has presented us with a simple lifestyle; we should be experts at creating communities and proclaim the good news with courage. (1)

Secularism is a great challenge for us. We can respond to it by fostering and supporting new forms of Consecrated Life. (2) New spiritual organisations practice a whole variety of new forms of life which involve the collaboration of both single and married people. (3) A further challenge is the mixture of various cultures alongside each other. Open­ness to the world is a particular strength of Religious Life.

Young people in Religious Instruction classes in Europe experience little of the Con­secrated Life. This form of life has ceased to be an option for them. It behoves us as Religious Institutes to inform people about Religious Life generally and our own in particular. (4) One sister told of how she as a child had met Religious, been invited by them and had learned about Religious Life. This form of life was so impressed on her consciousness that she was able to adopt it for herself later. (5)

The Superior General of the Marist Brothers, Brother Emili Turú, said on 1st February among other things, “We are forming the periphery of the Church: this means that we must go out to the needy and the neglected. That is where we belong.”

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In the audience of 1st February Pope Francis implored us, “Let us pray [for vocations] as Hannah had done for a son. God will heed the petition just as he presented Hannah with the gift of Samuel. We must knock at His door.”

On the final day the participants undertook a pilgrimage to three Papal basilicas.

Finally we owe a debt of gratitude to CICLSAL for the splendid preparation and com­pre­hensive coverage the participants were given of the topics.
       

Sources:
1 Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, discourse of 29.01.2016
2 Msgr José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, discourse of 29.01.2016
3 Contribution during the podium discussion on 01.02.2016
4 Contribution during the group discussion on 30.01.2016
5 Nathalie Becquart, La Xavière Institute, discourse of 31.01.2016
   

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