GSR Today - In a letter issued Friday – two days before the official start date – Pope Francis said the purpose of the Year of Consecrated life was to honor the past and embrace the future of religious life, encouraging religious communities to reflect on their unique histories with an eye to the histories yet to be written.
Year of Consecrated Life
Religious orders and the Vatican congregation that assists them must be bold in assessing whether current structures and practices help or hinder the proclamation of the Gospel, the pursuit of holiness and the service of the poor, Pope Francis said. "We must not be afraid to leave 'old wineskins,' that is, to renew the routines and structures that, in the life of the church and in consecrated life, no longer respond to what God is asking us today in order to promote his kingdom in the world," the pope, a former Jesuit provincial superior, told members of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
In an effort to help lay Catholics gain a deeper understanding of religious life, priests, brothers and women religious intend to open their convents, monasteries, abbeys and religious houses to the public one day next February.
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