What does the World Day for Consecrated Life mean for the Erie Benedictines?

For 20 years the Church has marked February 2 as a day of prayer for women and men who have consecrated their lives through the profession of vows and as a day to pray for vocations to the consecrated life.

In the Church calendar February 2 marks the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, also known as Candlemas Day—the blessing of candles symbolizing Christ, the Light of the world. This day is an invitation for all, not just those who live the consecrated life, to receive the light of Christ and to become the light of Christ in the world.

The Benedictine way is to seek God in the communal life and to respond in prayer and ministry (Charism Statement). In addition the Erie Benedictines uphold a corporate commitment “to be a healing presence and prophetic witness for peace by working for sustainability and justice, especially for women and children.”

As the Consecrated Life is celebrated throughout the world at the request of Pope Francis, we find ourselves praying to embody the Gospel message of kindness and love, welcome and inclusion, peace and justice, boldness and conviction—and to do so with faith, hope, confidence and determination as we seek to listen to the demands of the present. In keeping with our Corporate Commitment and Benedictine Charism, we will continue to uphold the dignity of human beings and reverence human rights, by living the values of the Gospel that are needed today more than ever. “We believe that our vowed life, lived out in community, can give us the strength and courage to work for a better world,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress, “—a world where all are given a chance to flourish, where the dream for justice can become real, and where compassion becomes the touchstone of authentic Gospel living.”

On the day when the Pope urges all to pray for those who live the vocation of the consecrated life and to pray for vocations to that way of life, we ask you to pray for us that we may live the monastic way of life to which we have been called in the best ways possible and we invite you to join your efforts with ours to be the light of Christ, especially in the midst of current world reality.