POPE FRANCIS AND CONSECRATED LIFE
During the Year of Consecrated Life, VISION invites everyone to say “Thank you” to those in consecrated life. Let’s celebrate their commitment, their love, and their witness. Pope Francis announced that 2015 will be a year dedicated to the promotion of Consecrated Life, and is asking the Religious Sisters, Brothers and Priests to "WAKE UP THE WORLD" with their testimony of faith, holiness and hope. Religious Sisters and Priests offer a special kind of Witness to the Gospel. During this year 2015 we are asked to tell our stories.
Pope Francis called on Consecrated Women and Men to "Wake up the World." “Be witnesses of a different way of doing things, of acting, of living! It is possible to live differently in this world,” he said. Please pray for those women and men by praying Pope Francis prayer below.
Pope Francis says: “This is the beauty of consecration. It is joy, joy. If we experience the joy of being loved by Jesus, then we can bring that joy to others.” Jesus says: “You are important to me, I love you. I am counting on you.”
POPE FRANCIS PRAYER FOR THE YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE
O God, throughout the ages you have called women and men to pursue lives of perfect charity through the evangelical counsels of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience. During this year of consecrated life, we give you thanks for these courageous witnesses of faith and models of inspiration. Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to you. Continue to enrich your Church by calling forth sons and daughters who, having found the pearl of great price, treasure the Kingdom of Heaven above all things through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Pray the following Prayer for an increase of Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life
POPE FRANCIS PRAYER FOR VOCATIONS
LORD of the Harvest, BLESS young people with the gift of courage to respond to your call. Open their hearts to great ideals, to great things. INSPIRE all of your disciples to mutual love and giving for vocations blossom in the good soil of faithful people. INSTILL those in religious life, parish ministries, and families with the confidence and grace to invite others to embrace the bold and noble path of a life consecrated to you. UNITE us to Jesus through prayer and sacrament, so that we may cooperate with you in building your reign of mercy and truth, of justice and peace. Amen.
Is RELIGIOUS LIFE right for you? Do you feel called to serve God as a Religious? RELIGIOUS SISTERS IN THE PARISH We are privileged to have two groups of Consecrated Women in our parish: The Sisters of Mercy who have lived and worked in the Parish since 1895 and The Missionaries of Charity (better known as Mother Teresa's Sisters) who live and work in the area since 1971.
RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES IN THE PARISH
We are privileged to have two groups of Consecrated Women in our parish: The Sisters of Mercy who have lived and worked in the Parish since 1895 and The Missionaries of Charity (better known as Mother Teresa's Sisters) who live and work in the area since 1971.
SISTERS OF MERCY - “I BELIEVE THIS IS THE TIME FOR MERCY” - THE SISTERS OF MERCY
“I believe this is the time for mercy,” words spoken by Pope Francis. Mercy is Pope Francis’ challenge today to all people of good will – to bring tenderness and compassion to a world longing for these gifts. The message that Pope Francis shares is “old” but the “tone” is new. People respond not only to the words that Pope Francis uses but are fascinated by the way he actually lives and what he says. Stories abound about his simple, uncluttered way of being and doing - a mercy-filled way of living: he feeds the hungry, he hugs the sick and spends time listening to them, visits those in prison and washes their feet. Catherine McAuley, Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy over 180 years ago, and her co-workers realized that the works of mercy they performed, including visiting the sick poor in their homes and in the cholera hospital, providing for a people who were poor, sick and uneducated, that they needed to form a community of Sisters.
For Catherine McAuley, her overwhelming sense of God’s love and mercy, her devotion to Mary, Mother of Mercy, led her to found the Sisters of Mercy in Ireland in 1831. After Catherine’s death at the age of sixty three, ten years after founding the Sisters of Mercy, the Congregation very quickly spread throughout the world and we now minister in forty four countries. Catherine had a simple concept of religious life - a balance of contemplation with action. The Sisters became known as the ‘walking nuns.’ Bessie Belloc, writing in 1898, called Catherine a sort of ‘Pied Piper’ in the way she attracted followers. They were drawn by her holiness as well as by her practical compassion for the poor. Catherine’s concern for the poor breaks through in her words: "God knows I would rather be cold and hungry than that the poor should be deprived of any consolation in our power to afford." Catherine called the Apostolate ‘the business of our lives.’ She endlessly insisted: “no occupation should withdraw our minds from God. Our whole life should be a continual act of praise and prayer.” And again: “The very best apostolate we can engage in is the witness of holiness of life.” Catherine’s genius shines through in the practical way by which she gave expression to the gift of God’s love flowing in and through her in the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
Catherine understood and lived the conviction that Christ has no body now but ours and exemplifies that each one of us brings our own unique gift to living that vision in the place and time in which we find ourselves. The Sisters are currently engaged in a variety of ministries: prison, airport and hospital chaplaincies, parish ministries, working with the homeless, refugees and women who are trafficked and on the missions in South Africa and Lebanon. Pope Francis’ emphasis on Mercy is a challenge to us, Sisters and Associates, to look anew at Catherine McAuley and observe how she lived and gave witness to the Charism of Mercy, so that we might continue to bring out of our treasured legacy ‘something old, something new!
Do you feel called to serve God and others as a Sister of Mercy?
• sensing that God is calling you to a life committed to God and lived in community and service?
• desiring to experience the joys and challenges of living in community with women of compassion, prayer, hospitality and action?
• thinking God is calling you to live religious vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and service of those who are poor, sick and uneducated, especially women and children?
• a Catholic for at least three years? Currently not married and with no dependent children? Ready to “Wake up the World,” and be a witness of a different way of doing and living?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, life as a Sister of Mercy may be just what you are looking for.
MISSIONARIES OF CHARITY
The Missionaries of Charity Congregation (better known to us as Mother Teresa’s Sisters) was formed on 7th October 1950, by Mother Teresa and a small community. Their mission was to care for "the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to society and are shunned by everyone." They minister in 133 countries. The Sisters make vows of Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and a fourth Vow to give "wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor." They run soup kitchens.
A Sister's few possessions include: three saris (one to wear, one to wash, one to mend); two or three cotton habits; a girdle; a pair of sandals; a crucifix; and a rosary. They also have a plate, a set of cutlery, a cloth napkin, a canvas bag, and a prayer book. In cold countries, nuns may own a cardigan and other articles suited to the local climate such as a coat, scarf, and closed shoes.
The Missionaries of Charity opened a house in Bravington Road in 1971. The Sisters work with and run hostels for homeless women, instruct children and run a soup kitchen in St Pius X Parish, St Charles’ Square. The Sisters provide shelter for single homeless women with no support needs who do not have access to any other means of support. For further information consult the website.
Do you feel called to serve God as a Missionary of Charity?
Read More: www.missionariesofcharity.org