The following is my reflection on celebrating this year dedicated to Consecrated Life and the event that will always help me remember it.
People of consecrated lives have always been close to me in some capacity. From consecrated virgins to cloistered nuns, from New Ulm, MN to Lima, Peru to Rome, Italy it is clear that the Roman Catholic Church moves, in part, thanks to those who have given their lives to the Lord in the form of the Consecrated Life. To reflect on this World Day of Consecrated Life (celebrated in the first week of February) I will tell you about the joy that I have experienced through those who have given their yes to the Lord’s call. Although there are a million stories, I want to focus on the more profound, and albeit entertaining story.
I was asked by the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus, based out of New Ulm, MN to host a talent show. This wasn’t a talent show of their students or of their local community, but rather a talent show of sisters. Yup. Many religious sisters. Of course I said yes! I literally answered their call. The vocare if you will….you may call me the handmaid of the Handmaids….I digress.
But really, think about it, how many times have you heard of a “Sisters Got Talent” show?! For me, it was the first time and I was ecstatic to help! Of course this wasn’t just a talent show celebrating the year of the Consecrated Life, it was a whole weekend of prayer, community building, mass, and a lot of fun.
I was the MC helping coordinate about 7 different religious orders who were performing everything from a sing along to tap dance as well as a puppet show. I do not kid.
The joy present was overwhelming and to have 500+ people in the audience watching and laughing and clapping was also a powerful reminder of the important role the laity have in the Church as well.
There were sisters whose mother house was in Germany, another in Lima, and yet another in Nashville Tennessee! It truly gave a sense of the holistic sense of the universal Church. And I am so grateful to have been able to assist them in showing their talents to the rest of us!
And in the words of Pope Francis:
“I want to say one word
to you and this word is joy.
Wherever consecrated people are,
there is always joy!”
Whether or not there are tap-dancing nuns in your life, you can be assured that many people around the world celebrated the World Day for Consecrated Life! Pope Francis, Bishops, clergy, and religious around the world celebrated and prayed for an increase of vocations as well as significant blessings for this particular liturgical year. Please join all of us prayer for those who are called to the Consecrated Life:
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, for ever and ever. Amen.
USCCB Prayer for Consecrated Life
If you want the fresh footage of the Handmaids tap dancing click here!