|"I am counting on you to 'wake up the world,'" Pope Francis wrote to all consecrated
people in an apostolic letter announcing this special Year of Consecrated Life.
In the June issue of Columbia, a publication of the Knights of Columbus, writer Brian Fraga reminds readers of the mission of consecrated life and points to signs of renewal for this vocation.
Although the number of those in religious life has dwindled, the statistics do not tell the entirety of the story, as there is a "quiet renaissance" in religious life underway.
Worldwide, more than 200 new religious communities have been founded since the Second Vatican Council, according to Holy Cross Brother Paul Bednarczyk, executive director of the National Religious Vocations Conference.
“The Holy Spirit continues to call and raise up gifts within the Church,” said Brother Bednarczyk.
Fraga reveals that "among the more than 500 men being ordained to the priesthood in the United States this year, approximately 100 are members of religious orders."
Another sign of renewal is a form of consecrated life on the rise: secular institutes.
“Religious life and secular institutes, in their way of leavening in society, continue to give a witness in the Church to the Gospel and the absoluteness of God, which are things we need to remember,” said Sister Sharon Holland, of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who serves as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). "In addition to religious and secular institutes, the Church also recognizes forms of individual consecrated life, such as consecrated virgins and hermits."
Read more about the various forms of consecrated life and its renewal as we continue to celebrate this Year of Consecrated Life in the full article here.
Here are some great resources from VISION to help parishes celebrate and promote religious life and religious vocations.