Priests, religious celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life

February 11, 2020

More than 150 consecrated men and women religious attend the World Day for Consecrated Life Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston Feb. 2. (Photo by My Nugyen)

HOUSTON — More than 150 priests, sisters, brothers and consecrated religious participated in the Liturgy and renewed their vows with Daniel Cardinal DiNardo as he celebrated Mass Feb. 2 on World Day for Consecrated Life. The annual Mass, celebrated at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, fell on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

Pope Francis, in his homily for the Mass he celebrated in Rome that same day, focused on the words of Simeon when he encountered Christ in the temple, “My eyes have seen your salvation.”

The Pope encouraged religious to reflect with gratitude for the grace of seeing in their vocation. Like Simeon, he said, we are simple people waiting on the Lord. Being able to see the grace of God fills us with passion that enlivens our vows.

Referring to this way of seeing, Father Michael Grey, CSSp in his homily at the Co-Cathedral, reminded the consecrated religious that the vows are a gift of freedom.

They free people to respond to God’s promptings in our daily lives and encourage the whole Church to faithfully follow Jesus and His way of living, he said.

The ability to recognize Jesus, to see “what really matters in life,” is at the heart of consecrated life, he said. The vision that maintains religious life is the grace of seeing how God works in the their lives in times of greatness and fragility.

The vision of seeing God in every day happenings and suffering is what led the founders of religious congregations to bring great love and service to humanity, he said.

In concluding the Mass, Cardinal DiNardo reminded the congregation of the blessing and rich diversity of the consecrated women and men who serve the Archdiocese. He encouraged the congregation to nurture vocations because the Archdiocese needs more consecrated men and women.

Like Jesus, who came to serve, they serve humanity where they are most needed and laid the foundation for much humanitarian and spiritual development, he said. Cardinal DiNardo said the Church gives thanks for the gift of Consecrated women and men.