Published February 16, 2012
Men and women religious and others who live the consecrated life gathered at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit for the annual observance of the consecrated life in the Atlanta Archdiocese on Feb. 7. The World Day for Consecrated Life, established by Pope John Paul II in 1997, is observed in the U.S. on Feb. 2, the Feast of the Presentation.
The event at the monastery was hosted by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory and Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Margaret McAnoy, archdiocesan vicar for religious. A vespers service was held, followed by a celebratory dinner, provided by the monks at the Trappist monastery.
The church recognizes several forms of consecrated life, said Father Shawn McKnight, executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Consecrated Life and Vocations. “All who embrace the consecrated life promise poverty, chastity and obedience,” he said.
In a press release he explained, “Religious priests, sisters and brothers live and pray in community, and they serve the Church in apostolic service or are wholly devoted to contemplation. Members of secular institutes fulfill their promises living within, not apart from, the world. Consecrated virgins, who are consecrated by the diocesan bishop, also serve the Church while remaining within the world, and hermits observe separation from the world in solitude, prayer and penance.”