Editor's note: due to snow, the Candlemass is postponed to Thurs. Feb. 4, 5PM, Cathedral
Feb. 2 celebration includes procession for Candlemas
LINCOLN (SNR) - Bishop James Conley will celebrate a Mass for the close of the Year for Consecrated Life Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Risen Christ, 3500 Sheridan Blvd., Lincoln.
All are invited to join Bishop Conley and the religious of the Diocese of Lincoln at the Mass. Processional candles will be provided for the Blessing of Candles; but all are also invited to bring candles to be blessed for use in private homes.
The Mass will also mark “World Day of Consecrated Life,” the annual day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life established in 1997 by Pope Saint John Paul II. This celebration occurs on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord Feb. 2. This feast is also known as “Candlemas Day,” the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world.
“So too,” pointed out Father Gary Coulter, co-vicar for religious for the Diocese of Lincoln, “those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples.”
Pope Francis declared that a Year for Consecrated Life be celebrated throughout the world, which began the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 30, 2014. This Year has been an opportunity to highlight the gift of consecrated life for the whole Church and to recognize the meaningful contributions made to the Church and society through the wide-ranging ministries of religious men and women.
“We are very grateful for their commitment and sacrifice to Christ and the Church,” Father Coulter said.
In the Diocese of Lincoln, many activities were held to promote and observe the Year for Consecrated Life. Masses were celebrated in Lincoln and Hastings; open houses and pilgrimages were held at the various religious communities who serve the diocese. Women religious shared their vocation stories with the Southern Nebraska Register (available online at lincolndiocese.org/snr or at lincolndiocese.org/YCL). Individuals and families adopted a religious communities to pray for during the year. Other activities were held in the Catholic schools and parishes where many religious work.
Pope Francis will gather with consecrated women and men from around the world for a theological symposium in Rome, Jan. 28 to Feb. 2, to close the Year of Consecrated Life, ending with Mass on the Feast of the Presentation.
In parishes throughout the country, the World Day for Consecrated Life will also be celebrated the weekend of Feb. 6-7.
All are encouraged to pray for those who have made commitments in the consecrated life, and be sure to thank them on their special day.
“May they continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and respond generously to God’s gift of their vocation,” Father Coulter said.