"The World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997 to honour women and men in Religious Congregations - indeed all those who are living the Consecrated Life in the world - for their commitment and dedication to various ministries within the Church.
This was the first such celebration in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome . Since John Paul II’s pontificate, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have continued to celebrate a special Mass in St Peter’s each year on February 2nd to which all consecrated people are invited.
This global celebration coincides with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, or Candlemas, when we honour Christ as the Light of the World and the special mission of those in consecrated life to spread His light in our world today.
Last year the Archbishop celebrated this Mass on 2nd February - albeit with only 12 persons in the Cathedral due to Covid restrictions - which was live-streamed so that our male and female religious and all consecrated persons could participate at the Mass in their own Chapels.
Archbishop John wishes to add this Mass to his annual calendar as a way of encouraging and thanking all Consecrated People in the Archdiocese for their response to God’s call to serve Him in the Church here in Southwark. Unfortunately this year, due to Episcopal commitments beyond his control, he is unable to celebrate the Mass on February 2nd but we are invited to join him on Saturday 5th February at 12.30 pm in the Cathedral, either in person or online via live-stream (also see below). This year the underlying theme will be the diversity and internationality of the Religious in our Archdiocese.
This rich Gospel passage