VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis asked people to give thanks to God for the gift of so many men and women living a cloistered life of total dedication to prayer.
“May these communities not lack affection, closeness and support,” including material support, from the entire church, he said, marking World Day of Cloistered Life, Nov. 21, at the end of his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
The pope also sent a written message the same day, which was also the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to those taking part in a world congress in Rome, organized by the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
In his written message, the pope thanked contemplative men and women for their vocation.
“What would become of the weakest members of the church, who find in you support for continuing their journey? What would become of the church and the world without the lighthouses that signal the port for those who are lost at sea?” he asked.
Contemplative men and women are like “torches” in the darkness, “sentinels” who proclaim a new day is coming, even though it is still night, he said.
“Thank you, because you enrich us with so many fruits of holiness, mercy and grace,” he said.
The pope also called for careful, well-rounded and in-depth formation, for candidates, formators and leaders.
Formation and spiritual accompaniment are lifelong and permanent for everyone, he said. Instead of being worried about numbers or efficiency, communities should focus on formation that responds to real, current needs and that are “integral” and “personalized.”
“May the Virgin Mary, model of contemplation, teach you to constantly seek the face of God and stay faithful to your mission as the praying heart of the church.”
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: