- Date of publication 02-07-2005 A meaningful evening eucharist celebrates 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 ‘evening of celebrating’ valuing the contribution and importance of consecrated religious life as they continue to enhance the life and growth of both Church and society took place on the evening of February 2nd 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 assured the music ministry and welcomed participants as they arrived. Many parents also came to share in this special celebration 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 evening’s gathering! During the entrance procession each religious present carried a coloured candle that was placed attractively at the foot of the altar on a lovely fabric linking the various charisms that were further expressed later on in the celebration during the offertory procession through symbol and a short explanatory caption by each of the congregations of women and men religious presently on mission in the St. Paul Diocese. For our congregation, Laura and Gloria brought a resource book, nurse’s cap and stethoscope as the symbols chosen to express our double ministry of education and care of the sick and marginalized. Gloria shared a short caption indicating our charism, cherished foundress and missionary thrust over our long history. Thérèse joined a fellow religious in the praying of the prayers of the faithful.
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. Then three members of religious congregations were in turn asked to come forth and in a wonderful kind of dialogue with Luc share the treasure of their own call, response and on-going journey within community in response to Gospel values in the footsteps of their foundresses and founders. Mary Ellen spoke with passion, humour, insight and wisdom of her unfolding vocational journey in the service of God’s little ones doing as Jesus did according to the intuition of Perrine Thulard, our beloved foundress!
The evening concluded with a time of informal sharing and socializing over snacks and refreshments! Bishop Luc expressed the sentiments of many that memorable evening when he shared 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!”
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