It was a day of joy and gladness for the priests and religious of the Diocese of Udupi, when they came together for a common celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life, on 17 September 2015 in the Milagres Tri-centenary hall, Kalianpur. Around 350 priests and religious men and women came under one roof for a day of recollection, introspection and re-dedication to their scared vocation. “The year of Consecrated Life” has been declared by Pope Francis on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium” which speaks of religious in its sixth chapter and of the Decree Perfectae Caritatis on the renewal of religious life. The year of Consecrated Life has begun on November 30, 2014, the First Sunday of Advent and will conclude with the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple on February 2, 2016.
Most Rev. Dr Francis Serrao, the Bishop of Shimoga was the facilitator of the day’s program. In his first talk Bishop Francis spoke about the sacredness of our calling and the immediate need of re-dedication to our vocation in the context of modern day challenges and temptations.He said that vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience have been replaced by Profit, Pleasure and Power. Hence it is all the more necessary that we revisit the document and get inspiration to live the consecrated life.
Speaking on the Pastoral ministry, Bishop Francis said that both the Diocesan and religious should work as partners and not in isolation. We may have different ministries but all of us work for the same goal of the establishment of the kingdom of God, a kingdom of love, peace and social justice.
The entire celebration culminated in a solemn Thanksgiving Eucharist, with Most Rev. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, the Bishop of Udupi as the main Celebrant. During the homily Bishop Francis invited all the consecrated men and women to re-consecrate themselves to their calling and renew the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He said that the good Lord who has called us for his work of spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God will hold our hands and guide us through.
The program concluded with a fellowship meal.