When one is totally in love with the Lord, then poverty, chastity and obedience are not sacrifices, but vehicles of freedom, Pope Francis told consecrated men and women.
In an interview Jan. 29, just a few days before the annual celebration Feb. 2 of the World Day for Consecrated Life, Loreto Sr. Patricia Murray said, "The Holy Spirit is at work in building us as religious women into a global family."
Pope Francis named six superiors of women's religious orders and a consecrated laywoman to be full members of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Previously, the members had all been men.
Pope Francis has made it easier for a religious order to dismiss a member who leaves the community without permission, stays away and does not communicate with his or her superior. In a document titled Communis Vita, the pope amended the Code of Canon Law to include an almost automatic dismissal of religious who are absent without authorization for at least 12 months.