Religious to be honored at Year of Consecrated Life closing liturgy

27 Jan 2016

METUCHEN – The Most Rev. Paul G. Bootkoski, bishop of Metuchen, will celebrate a White Mass at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, 32 Elm Ave., Metuchen. All are welcome.
The Mass, named for the white coats often worn by those in healing professions, will honor health care professionals from Middlesex, Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren, the four counties served by the diocese, for their ministry of healing and compassion. Rev. Peter G. Suhaka, Catholic chaplain at Saint Peter's University Hospital, will serve as the homilist for the Mass.
In the Diocese of Metuchen, the Mass will be celebrated just days before World Day of the Sick, observed annually on Feb. 11.
Light refreshments and fellowship will follow Mass in the Cathedral Community Room. For more information, call (732) 562-1990 ext. 1629 or email

METUCHEN – Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski will serve as principal celebrant and homilist at Mass on the observance of the World Day for Consecrated Life Feb. 7.

The noon Mass at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Metuchen, will mark the close of the Year of Consecrated Life and will also honor the men and women religious in the diocese who are celebrating significant anniversaries.

In Pope Francis’ letter announcing the Year of Consecrated Life, he universally urged religious communities to look to the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion and to embrace the future with hope.

The yearlong observance began in the Diocese of Metuchen on Nov. 23, 2014, and is scheduled to conclude on Feb. 2, the World Day for Consecrated Life, which will be celebrated in parishes Feb. 6-7, to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church.

“Since the opening of the Year of Consecrated Life, which was celebrated with joyful Evening Prayer at Immaculate Conception, Somerville, the diocese has provided many opportunities for celebration, for education and for prayer,” said Mercy Sister Elizabeth O’Hara, diocesan Delegate for Religious. “I would like to think that the diocesan community has been made more aware of the vocation to consecrated life.”

Sister Elizabeth said that the diocesan Closing Celebration will be a “deeply spiritual experience” and will create a sense of unity among the Church of Metuchen as they gather to culminate the Year of Consecrated Life.

The Mass, celebrated annually on the World Day for Consecrated Life to honor the jubilarians and men and women religious in the Diocese of Metuchen, allows parishioners to pray with and for those in consecrated life. 

“We are praising God for the gift of consecrated men and women,” Sister Elizabeth said. “We are thanking those who have given service to the Church for many years.”

For those who have never attended the Mass, Sister Elizabeth encouraged them to do so because it is an inspirational moment for the men and women religious and a teachable moment for all the faithful.

“The desire to know God is inborn in every person,” she said. “When people hear stories of men and women religious, they can be encouraged to seek God more earnestly in their own lives.”

The World Day for Consecrated Life was instituted in 1997 by then-Pope, now St. John Paul II, as a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. 

The celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Feb. 2, during which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. Those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Christ to all peoples. 

For more information, contact Sister Elizabeth at (732) 529-7587, email or visit