Although more than 12 months in length, the Year of Consecrated Life begins on the 1st Sunday of Advent in 2014 and concludes on the 1st Sunday of February in 2016.
PART ONE – GENERAL INFORMATION
Religious congregations having a center house in the diocese will be highlighted each month on the diocesan website, on Facebook and in a series of articles published in Christ is our Hope.
Those same congregations will be issuing open house invitations. Dates and times of these events will be published on the website, in Christ is our Hope, in the Joliet Official Bulletin, and will be sent to parishes for reprinting in Sunday bulletins.
Congregations which have a presence in the diocese will have a very brief article written about them since they will most likely be featured by the diocese in which their headquarters are located.
Because of their lives of consecration, information about Consecrated Virgins will also be available.
Two videos will be prepared for the diocesan website. One will feature Bishop Conlon introducing the Year of Consecrated Life, while the other will include interviews given by the general superiors/provincials who have a center house in the diocese.
The Joliet Area Vocation Association (JAVA) will have a visible presence at the 2015 Youth Leadership Conference held at Lewis University.
A luncheon for women and men in Consecrated Life will be held at the Blanchette Catholic Center on March 28, 2015.
PART TWO – MATERIALS & IDEAS FOR PARISHES
The following material will be sent to parishes:
Did You Know?
A list of facts about congregations based in the diocese will be compiled. During the Year of Consecrated Life, parishes will be asked to print one fact per week in the Sunday bulletin using the heading: Did You Know?
Open House Information
In order to remind parishioners about the open houses, the bulletin editor will be asked to list their places, dates and times in the Sunday bulletin.
Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life
As space permits, parishes can reprint the following Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life in the bulletin or perhaps place it in the front of the worship aid:
O God, throughout the ages you have called women and men to pursue lives of perfect charity through the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. During this Year of Consecrated Life, we give you thanks for these courageous witnesses of faith and models of inspiration. Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to you. Continue to enrich your Church by calling forth sons and daughters who, having found the pearl of great price, treasure the Kingdom of Heaven above all things. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
(Source: USCCB Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations)
Parishes are asked to use one intention per Sunday from the list of Universal Prayers which will be sent from the Office of Divine Worship.
These may be used in religious education programs and/or Catholic schools. The plans will be available in the spring or fall of 2015.
The following ideas may be used by parishes to assist in promoting the Year of Consecrated Life:
The Council of Catholic Women in the parish may coordinate displays of photos, etc. of persons from the parish who answered the call to Consecrated Life.
Knights of Columbus may arrange for crosses (similar to vocation crosses) as a means of reminding persons to pray for those in Consecrated Life or to pray that others will answer the call to this way of life.
The song, Wake the World with Dawning Joy, may be used at Masses, prayer services, etc. Google the song title for music and lyrics. Duplicate as desired.
Consecrated women or men may be invited to give presentations to parish groups, e.g., CCW, youth groups, parent organizations, etc.
Holy hours may be arranged to pray for consecrated women and men.
Videos or dvd’s of Women in Spirit and Band of Sisters may be viewed by parish groups. See information on the Internet.
College students, under the direction of Kevin O’Donnell, are willing to prepare cardboard cutouts of consecrated women or men from the parish for display. Requests should be directed to Nancy Ferencik (firstname.lastname@example.org).