Diocese to celebrate gift of consecrated life, honor jubilarians

30 Jan 2015

METUCHEN – Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski will serve as principal celebrant and homilist at a Mass to commemorate the World Day for Consecrated Life at noon Feb. 8 at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, 32 Elm Ave.

The day, which was established in 1997 by then-Pope, now St. John Paul II, recognizes those devoted to consecrated life, provides an opportunity for them to renew their dedication, and invites the entire Church to celebrate this gift of consecrated life.

During the Mass, those celebrating significant milestones of their religious profession will be acknowledged by Bishop Bootkoski and members of the faith community.

Mercy Sister Elizabeth O’Hara, delegate, Office for Religious, said those being recognized notice the support they receive from worshipers such as members of the parishes or schools where they serve or have served.

“It is always comforting to be the recipient of appreciation,” Sister Elizabeth said. “Bishop Bootkoski has affirmed the men and women religious on numerous occasions. Appreciation goes such a long way. When people come to the cathedral to show gratitude for the ministry of the men and women religious, we feel a significant part of the local church.”

For those who have never attended the Mass, Sister Elizabeth encouraged them to do so because an event in the cathedral is always special.

“The music, the dignity, the wording of the prayers, the homily -- people are impressed with the solemnity of the occasion. I believe it helps those in attendance to appreciate the larger picture of what Church communicates,” she said.

The Mass is also being celebrated during the Year of Consecrated Life, announced by Pope Francis to emphasize the importance of religious vocations. In the Diocese of Metuchen, the observance began Nov. 23 and is scheduled to end on November 22, 2015.

“The recent words of Pope Francis have been inspiring, encouraging, and supportive of those in consecrated life,” Sister Elizabeth said. “This year is special because of the theme of joy. Pope Francis exudes joy. He wants us to be joyful in our vocation.”

To recognize the Year of Consecrated Life at the Mass, the entrance procession will use a hymn written especially for the Year of Consecrated Life. The hymn, “Wake the World with Dawning Joy,” captures the theme of the year, Sister Elizabeth said.

For more information about the upcoming Year of Consecrated Life observances in the Diocese of Metuchen, call (732) 562-1990 ext. 1102, email religious@diometuchen.org, or visit http://diometuchen.org/year-of-consecrated-life. Also, stay tuned to the diocesan Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest information.

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