Leave your country, your family and your father’s house for the land I will show you.
At the Opening Mass for the Year of Consecrated Life, on Saturday 29 November, at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Chad in Birmingham, His Grace, Archbishop Bernard Longley thanked all those gathered from across the diocese saying that, ‘In this way we are able to see more clearly the rich diversity of the members of the Body of Christ and the different charisms with which the Holy Spirit has equipped the Church to fulfil her mission across the West Midlands.’
He also gave thanks for, ‘the expression of Religious life among our fellow Christians and in particular within the Church of England. I am grateful for the presence and fellowship of our Anglican brothers and sisters whose communities have generously served others, often in the most challenging of local situations, alleviating deprivation and need and deserving their place in the affections of the local people. I welcome them together with Canon Mark Pryce today.’
His Grace acknowledged that, ‘This Year of Consecrated Life encourages us to look forward and to recognise the opportunities and challenges that lie before us.’ And highlighting the important freedom and flexibility open to Religious he said, ‘that [this] makes it possible to minister at the margins… to those who have fallen between the gaps because you have a different perspective that is vital to the mission of the Church.’
His Grace quoting Pope Francis said, ‘in announcing this special year, [Pope Francis] set before you this challenge: An authentic faith always involves a profound desire to change the world. Here is the question we must ask ourselves: do we also have great vision and impetus? Are we also daring? Do our dreams fly high? Does zeal consume us?’
He concluded, ‘May the Religious and the Consecrated Virgins of our Archdiocese always help others to find the pearl of great price and the treasure hidden in a field so that God’s Kingdom may flourish among us.’
To read the homily in full click here: Year for Consecrated Life