Sr. Cindy Lewans, PM :
Br. Basil Schaan, OSB :
Fr. Iheanyi Enwerem, OP :
Vatican II documents
The Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL) notes that the recent Year of Consecrated Life coincided with the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of Lumen Gentium (the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Church), a document which has a specific chapter addressing consecrated life (see excerpts below). The anniversary of the Council’s decree Perfectae Caritatis will be the occasion of the close of the Year (see excerpts below).
Excerpts from the Dogmatic Constitution On The Church – Lumen Gentium: Chapter VI – Religious
[21 November 1964]
43. From the point of view of the divine and hierarchical structure of the Church, the religious state of life is not an intermediate state between the clerical and lay states. But, rather, the faithful of Christ are called by God from both these states of life so that they might enjoy this particular gift in the life of the Church and thus, each in one's own way, may be of some advantage to the salvific mission of the Church.
44. The profession of the evangelical counsels appears as a sign which can and ought to attract all the members of the Church to an effective and prompt fulfillment of the duties of their Christian vocation.
46. Religious should carefully keep before their minds the fact that the Church presents Christ to believers and non-believers alike in a striking manner daily through them. The Church thus portrays Christ in contemplation on the mountain, in His proclamation of the kingdom of God to the multitudes, in His healing of the sick and maimed, in His work of converting sinners to a better life, in His solicitude for youth and His goodness to all people, always obedient to the will of the Father who sent Him.
Excerpts from The Decree On The Adaptation And Renewal Of Religious Life: Perfectae Caritatis
[28 October 1965]
Indeed from the very beginning of the Church men and women have set about following Christ with greater freedom and imitating Him more closely through the practice of the evangelical counsels, each in his [her] own way leading a life dedicated to God. It is in accordance with the Divine Plan a wonderful variety of religious communities has grown up which has made it easier for the Church not only to be equipped for every good work (cf. 2 Tim 3:17) and ready for the work of the ministry – the building up of the Body of Christ (cf. Eph. 4:12) – but also to appear adorned with the various gifts of her children like a spouse adorned for her husband (cf. Apoc. 21:2) and for the manifold Wisdom of God to be revealed through her (cf. Eph. 3:10). Art #1
The adaptation and renewal of the religious life includes both the constant return to the sources of all Christian life and to the original spirit of the institutes and their adaptation to the changed conditions of our time: (i) It redounds to the good of the Church that institutes have their own particular characteristics and work. Therefore let their founders' spirit and special aims they set before them as well as their sound traditions – all of which make up the patrimony of each institute – be faithfully held in honor. All institutes should share in the life of the Church, adapting as their own and implementing in accordance with their own characteristics the Church's undertakings and aims in matters biblical, liturgical, dogmatic, pastoral, ecumenical, missionary and social. (ii) Institutes should promote among their members an adequate knowledge of the social conditions of the times they live in and of the needs of the Church. Art #2
Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life - "REJOICE! a letter to consecrated men and women" reflecting on the teachings of Pope Francis:
The Nuncio's letter -
The Nuncio's reflection on vocatons -
The life and spirituality of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys.:
The life and spirituality of Saint André Bessette:
Message from President of Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops for World Day of Consecrated Life 2015:
A number of Canadian religious communities have been extensively involved for some years in efforts to draw attention to the problem of human trafficking. More information is found on the website of the Canadian Religious Conference:
The Holy See’s website gives an outline of Saint Josephine Bakhita’s life and spirituality - "she knew the anguish of kidnapping and slavery" and entered consecrated life: