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St Mary’s Celebrates WDCL

World Day for Consecrated Life-2014 Malaysia Sabah Sandakan Catholic-12opSANDAKAN – World Day for Consecrated Life (WDCL) was celebrated in St Mary’s Cathedral Parish Feb10, 2014 at St Joseph’s Church.

The Eucharist was presided over by Fr Philip Muji and concelebrated by Fr Simon Kontou. More than 100 parishioners turned up to celebrate with the Religious.

Prior to this, a 3-day prayer (Triduum) beginning Feb 4, in preparation for the occasion, was led by the three different congregations serving in the parish.  The Brothers of St Gabriel led the first day of the Triduum at St Mary’s Hostel, followed by the Good Shepherd Sisters on the second day at St Joseph’s Church, and the last day by the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception at St Mary’s Chapel.

General knowledge on Religious Life

Religious Orders

Each religious community is a special blessing in our church, with its particular mission, spirituality, and flavor. Religious communities share much in common with each other, and yet, each one has its own unique spirit or ‘charism.’

What is Religious Life?

Religious life is first and foremost a call to give one’s self as an unreserved gift to God in Jesus Christ. This complete giving of one’s self is symbolized in the living out of the evangelical vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, to the exclusion of all other primary life commitments. It is also a life that is usually lived out in communion (community) with others who have made the same life commitment.

While all religious communities share these same characteristics, each one is unique in terms of its charism or spirit, and the ways in which they are called to live out that spirit.

Some examples include monastic communities whose primary call is to minister through continual prayer for the people of God. Members of apostolic communities, while certainly called to a life of prayer, are also called to minister to the needs of the people of God in more direct ways.

Who can be a Religious?

Requirements vary according to the specific orders or congregations, but in general, adult Catholic women and men who are not married. Other requirements, such as being debt free and being in generally good physical and mental health as well as having some working experience.

How do I know if I’m being called?

Most Religious women and men as well as priests will tell you that the decision to enter Religious Life or Priesthood was made in response to a call from God heard deep within their hearts.

Discerning whether or not God is calling you needs a commitment to spend time in prayer. Having a Spiritual Director or a spiritual friend to talk over with and to verbalize the thoughts and feelings, can be helpful as well.

Pope Francis has designated 2015 as the ‘Year for Consecrated Life’ which will begin on November 21, 2014, a special day set aside for prayer to dedicate to those living the religious life.

The special year, which was announced by Pope Francis in December 2013 at a meeting with superior generals of male religious orders, was in answer to suggestions made by many religious superiors, said Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, the prefect of the Congregation for Religious. The year will mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Vatican II decree on religious life, Perfectae Caritatis. – DOSPO


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