2 February 2017
By Stephanie Ugwe, SHCJ
This year 2017 is the 21st World Day for Consecrated Life since the pronunciation by Pope John Paul II in 1997. Indeed it was an occasion for renewal for consecrated persons all over the world. Outstanding this day is the blessing of candles, procession and renewal of commitment to Lord.
In St. Peter’s Basilica Rome, the Holy Father, Pope Francis celebrated the Holy Mass of the feast of the presentation. He called all consecrated persons to be leaven in the world, bringing Christ to the people – even when it seems like the work goes unnoticed, or there is another who would do a better job. He stressed that the calling of consecrated women and men is to put Christ “in the midst of people. The Pontiff called on faithful to pray for priests Religious and sisters belonging to the Contemplative and apostolic Religious Institutes adding that their life dedicated to God and their charismatic service will bear abundant fruit for the good of the world.
In line with that injunction, the faithful of the Lagos Archdiocese gathered at St. Jude Mafoluku with 42 orders of Male and Female Religious living and working in Lagos to mark the Presentation of the Lord, a feast that reminds us of our consecration, baptism and Christian calling. His Grace Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Martins, the Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese presided over the mass. In his homily, he reminded all Religious that Jesus presence in the temple left an indelible mark in the lives of those who met him
Speaking further, he referred to the attentiveness of Anna and Simeon who were in tune with the Holy Spirit and were enabled to recognize Christ. In this day when the Holy Spirit is highly de-emphasized, we need to renew our prayer life.
The day ended in a very entertaining reception.
Male and female religious in Bauchi Northern Nigeria paused for a group photograph to remember the day as they earnestly prayed for all the graces they need to serve God’s people in joy.