“Consecrated life: between the present and the future …”
By Simone Perras, SNJM
In a letter addressed to the members of consecrated life in the Saint-Jean-Longueuil Diocese, Bishop Lionel Gendron wrote: We will celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life within the context of the Year of the Jubilee of Mercy. We will gladly respond to the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, who have invited us to their home in Longueuil.
On the occasion of this day of the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life, on February 2, Daniel Cadrin, O. P., the speaker, introduced a reflection on the theme of Consecrated Life: between the present and the future, a continuing journey. He provided some possible ways of assuring continuity and leaving footsteps for the future.
Here are a few of them: recognize our profound identity, our DNA, and focus on trust. Be witnesses of God’s goodness; be attentive to the needs; pursue the quest for God and community life; bring about a balance between tradition and newness.
Our houses are not centers for palliative care. Even though consecrated life is fragile and small, it does not change the quality of the Gospel, said the speaker. Hence, it is important to balance joy, kindness and compassion through projects which maintain life.
A period of discussion in small groups enabled the participants to be mutually enriched through the diversity of the institutions.
A short plenary session allowed questions to emerge, reactions to surface and the main points to be summarized.
Tribute to religious communities
The meeting ended with a Eucharist presided by Bishop Gendron and several concelebrants.
During the offertory procession, ten people each brought up a flower as a sign of gratitude to the priests in religious congregations and members of other religious communities (teachers, nurses, social services, clergy assistants, orphanages, contemplatives), who have had to leave the diocese, after many years of service to the community and the Church.
At the time of the launching of the Year of Consecrated Life in 2015, a similar tribute was paid to the communities who are still active in the diocese.
Consult the photo album
Photos credit of: Saint-Jean-Longueuil Diocese