Consecrated men, women signs of ‘newness of life of Christ,’ bishop says

| February 3, 2015 | 0 Comments
At a Feb. 2 Mass for the World Day for Consecrated Life, attendees received candles blessed as part of the celebration of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. From left, Sister Mary Kathleen Roth, Mother Marie-Andre Wilson and Sister Mary Helena Valliere, Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church; and Sister Mary Loveth Emecheta, an Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ sister. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

At a Feb. 2 Mass for the World Day for Consecrated Life, attendees received candles blessed as part of the celebration of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. From left, Sister Mary Kathleen Roth, Mother Marie-Andre Wilson and Sister Mary Helena Valliere, Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of the Church; and Sister Mary Loveth Emecheta, an Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ sister. Dave Hrbacek / The Catholic Spirit

More than 100 religious sisters, brothers and priests renewed vows of consecrated life at the Cathedral of St. Paul Feb. 2 as part of a Mass for the World Day for Consecrated Life.

Among them was Sister Maureen Murray, a School Sister of Notre Dame who will celebrate her 70th jubilee in July.

The last seven decades have been a lesson in trusting God, the 91-year-old said.

“I’ve learned that if I really trust God, I can do many things.”

The annual Mass coincides with the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which commemorates Mary and Joseph presenting Jesus in the temple. Celebrated 40 days after Christmas, it is also popularly called Candlemas, since it includes a blessing and procession of candles.

Bishop Lee Piché, an auxiliary bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, presided at the Mass.

“Those who are consecrated are for us always a sign of the perpetual newness of the life of Christ — the fresh, new beginning of eternal life,” he said in the homily.

Calling the church “richly blessed” by the presence of consecrated men and women, Bishop Piché listed the names of more than 60 religious communities whose members live in the archdiocese. He also acknowledged consecrated virgins, members of secular institutes and orders’ lay oblates.

At the end of Mass, Sister Carolyn Puccio, the archdiocese’s delegate for religious, read the names of religious men and women, including Sister Maureen, celebrating milestone jubilees this year.

Born in London, England, Sister Maureen moved to St. Paul at age 2 and was taught by School Sisters at St. Francis de Sales in St. Paul and Good Counsel Academy in Mankato. After entering the School Sisters, she served as a longtime teacher in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Dickinson, N.D.; editorial director at St. Mary’s Press in Winona; and coordinator of the Retirement Fund for Religious for the archdiocese.

Sister Maureen attributed her decision to enter religious life to her parents’ deep faith.

“And the fact that my three brothers never approved of any young man I was interested in,” she added with a laugh, before joining other men and women religious at a reception at the archbishop’s residence.

This year’s World Day for Consecrated Life coincides with the Year of Consecrated Life, declared by Pope Francis to begin in November 2014 and end in February 2016. The World Day for Consecrated Life has been celebrated since 1997, when St. John Paul II instituted the day of prayer for men and women in consecrated life.

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Category: Featured, Year of Consecrated Life