Pope Francis declared the Year of Consecrated Life in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Lumen Gentium, which describes the communion of the faithful as follows:
In the beginning God made human nature one and decreed
that all His children, scattered as they were, would finally be
gathered together as one. It was for this purpose that God
sent His Son… It follows that though there are many nations
there is but one people of God, which takes its citizens
from every race, making them citizens of a kingdom which
is of a heavenly rather than of an earthly nature. All the
faithful, scattered though they be throughout the world, are
in communion with each other in the Holy Spirit.
(Chapter 1, Paragraph 13, Lumen Gentium,
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Pope Paul VI,
November 21, 1964)
All the faithful of the church are called to live the Gospel call with passion and joy in Christ, who calls us and leads us forward into “a future full of hope” (Jer. 29:11). Consecrated religious, in particular, have a particular calling to bear witness to “living the present with passion”. Pope Francis says this means “becoming ‘experts in communion,’ ‘witnesses and architects of the “plan for unity”’ which is the crowning point of human history in God’s design” (Part I, Paragraph 2, “Apostolic Letter of Declaration of the Year of Consecrated Life,” November 21, 2014). It is a call to examine how we relate to persons who are different than us, whether by culture, race, nationality or age.
“Monasticism is part of the heritage of the undivided Church,” Pope Francis also writes. Monastic life is one of the oldest forms of consecrated life in the Church, and St. Benedict, whose Rule we follow, is often referred to as the “Father of Western Monasticism.” Our life of seeking God through prayer and community is the “school of the Lord’s service” (R.B. Prol.45) wherein we learn to be “experts in communion”.
Our Benedictine monastic life is a prophetic witness in today’s world that “strangers can live together in God’s love” (Alliance for International Monasticism Prayer), as well as to “the ‘mystique of living together’ which makes our life ‘a sacred pilgrimage’” (Part I, Paragraph 2, “Apostolic Letter of Declaration of the Year of Consecrated Life,” November 21, 2014).
We invite you to pray with and learn more about us.
Sister Ann Marie Wainright
Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality in meeting difficult challenges.