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Consecrated life is valued and celebrated on February 5th in Alberta’s St. Paul diocese…….

4- in Canada - Date of publication 03-22-2006
Very meaningful Sunday eucharistic celebrations honour the gift of consecrated life within a collaborative context urging each person to courageously respond each day to God’s call on behalf of the marginalized and those in need……

Upon the initiative of Luc Bouchard, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Paul, Alberta, and a committee of dedicated consecrated women and men religious of that Diocese, a very meaningful and truly symbolically rich ‘Sunday of Eucharistic celebrations’ marks the valuable contributions and on-going importance of consecrated religious life as they continue to enhance the life and growth of both Church and society.  The gift of consecrated religious life was acknowledged during each of the Sunday Liturgies of February 5th at the St. Paul Cathedral.  Mary Ellen actively participated in the preparation of this very successful bilingual faith-sharing event!  Many youth from all over the diocese and beyond came to share in these celebrations even though the weather was quite inclement!   Many parents and regular parishioners also came to share in these special celebrations praying that God’s message of peace and justice for all peoples everywhere might become even more central to our daily living out of the Gospel mandate!
The décor left no doubt as to the theme of this Sunday’s celebrations!  During the entrance procession each religious present carried a coloured candle that was placed attractively in the centre of beauty on a lovely fabric around the special theme of answering God’s call as consecrated religious reaching out to those in need often in quiet, behind-the-scenes ways so that the coming of God’s kingdom of peace and justice for all might be hastened forth.   

The homily was also a time of witness and particular interest to all participates.  Bishop Luc began by himself sharing with us all the important place members of consecrated religious congregations have had and continue to have in his own life and how very much he recognizes and esteems their influence in his own journey of hearing God’s on-going invitation to serve, grow and become who God intends him to be. 

The honouring of religious life concluded with a lovely noon meal at Bishop Luc’s residence.  This time of informal sharing and socializing, with members of other religious congregations also serving in the St. Paul diocese, was engaging, energizing and delightful for we come from many countries, nationalities and a whole variety of missionary experiences.  Last year Bishop Luc had expressed his sense that “something special was happening among us as we paused together to honour consecrated religious life” and that it was “a first initiative but certainly not the last!”  Well, here we are one year later vibrantly celebrating the gift of consecrated life to the Church and society…..a wonderful tradition in the making!!

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