Today, as we celebrate the World Day for Consecrated Life, the Archdiocese of Louisville is holding its annual Mass for those celebrating religious jubilees. Since I am traveling to the Philippines, I am sending this greeting to those gathered:
From the Philippines I greet and congratulate all women and men religious who gather on the occasion of your anniversary of consecration. While I bring your love and concern with me as I travel to the devastated parts of the Philippines ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan on November 8, I also want you to know of my heartfelt congratulations and prayers for you. As we recall on this day the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord Jesus in the Temple as the Light to the Nations and the deeply symbolic custom of blessed candles, I join you in thanking Jesus for your vocation. May you continue to be a light shining brightly through your generous witness of love and may your fidelity to Christ in your community and through your vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, continue to be the clear witness that is so needed in our world today. Thank you for your generous service.
I offer my deep thanks to Fr. Mark Spalding, Vicar General, and Fr. Jeff Shooner, Vocation Director, for their presence today. I ask your prayers for the Archdiocese of Louisville. May we continue to nurture vocations to the consecrated life so that your witness of zeal and love awakens a true yearning for God’s presence in the hearts and lives of those being called today to follow in your steps.