World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life

On February 2, 2024, the Church will celebrate World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life, with some parishes focusing on it during the weekend Masses, February 3-4, 2024.

In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. This celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church. We hope that you find the following resources helpful for your own celebrations of World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life!

from the USCCB website

In 2018, the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations began publishing a CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) survey of Women and Men Professing Perpetual Vows in Religious Life. This survey, available here, was taken by men and women religious who professed their perpetual vows over the past year and offers a fascinating snapshot of the variety of people called to this special service to the Church.

Meet the Profession Class of 2023

I thought you might find it interesting to hear from some of the newly professed men and women religious published recently on the USCCB website. Their answers provide a fascinating insight into how each discovered their vocational call. You can read more here:

Serving the Shepherds

The promotion of vocations, the formation of future priests, and the support and ongoing care for all our priests are essential to help our Diocese remain vibrant and fruitful. In order to care for our seminarians, our active priests, and our retired priests in the diocese, the Catholic Foundation created the Serving the Shepherds Fund.

Gifts to the Serving the Shepherds Fund will be used to:

  • Support the Cardinal Medeiros Residence, home to nearly 25 of our retired priests;
  • Provide medical and dental insurance for retired priests and contribute to the clergy pension fund;
  • Offer tuition, room, board, and medical insurance for our seminarians;
  • Help the Office for Vocations guide men as they discern their unique calling;
  • Fund the Director of Clergy Support Office, which provides a diverse range of programs and ministers to priests at all stages of their priesthood.
  • Each year, diocesan collections to support these initiatives cover less than a quarter of their combined costs.

As the Foundation shared when introducing the new fund,

Our priests, past and present, have been there for our own milestones, administering every Sacrament. We celebrate many of our happiest moments with them and cry with them through the pain of loss. Our faith and relationship with God are nourished through their ministry, helping us grow and impact who we are. Priests have made a lifelong commitment, which is not just a job; it is a life. These holy men carry a tremendous responsibility as our spiritual shepherds, serving Christ, the Church, and our community. But priests are also trusted friends and extended members of our own families. Please consider helping sustain them in the work that God has called them to do through your prayers, kindness, and generosity at every stage of their journey. Thank you for your support!

Prayer of St. John Vianney for Priests - God, please give to your Church today many more priests after your own heart. May they be worthy representatives of Christ the Good Shepherd. May they wholeheartedly devote themselves to prayer and penance; be examples of humility and poverty; shining models of holiness; tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God; zealous dispensers of your grace in the sacraments. May their loving devotion to your Son Jesus in the Eucharist and to Mary his Mother be the twin fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry. St. John Vianney, Patron of Priests. Pray for the Priests of Fall River

Priests Make a Difference

One of the realities of life is that we tend to take people and things for granted. We tend to take for granted those we love and those for whom we should show appreciation. A new program from the Office of Clergy Support invites us to do just the opposite, to recognize the small or big differences our priests have made in our lives. I am sure we can all find some small actions that have impacted our lives. So, let us make it known.

To that end, the Office of Clergy Support recently launched a wonderful initiative seeking personal testimonies and stories from across the Diocese, which illustrates the many ways our priests personally impact the faithful, their parish, or institution. For now, everything submitted is being shared solely with the highlighted priest. The purpose of these stories is to thank, encourage, and recognize the humble, hidden, yet incredibly impactful service provided by our Diocesan priests — active and retired alike.

There are three ways to submit your story of positive impact; learn more here.

Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha

The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River