Today, the Feast of the Presentation, was designated by Pope John Paul II as World Day for Consecrated Life in 1997. His purpose was to cast a spotlight on the witness given to the Church and the world by those vowed to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. In the diocese of New York where we are located the intention of this day had been moved to Sunday, February 6th. However, the Feast of the Presentation is most appropriate because the Holy Family was met in the temple by two persevering people whose lives had been dedicated to patient waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. We are told that at the sight of Jesus Simeon declared, "Now Lord, you can let your servant die in peace for you have kept your promise. My eyes have seen the salvation of the Lord..." And Anna too, old and bent as she was, delighted in the realization of her prayers.
Archbishop Joseph Tobin, CSsR was interviewed today on Vatican Radio, (in English) speaking about consecrated life and the meaning of this day. The picture at the Vatican Radio site is of Archbishop Tobin and our communty. We are sadly unidentified. Here is the link:
Archbishop Tobin is the former Father General of the Redemptorist Congregation. He was recently appointed secretary to the Vatican Congregation for Consecrated Life. He and the newly appointed prefect of that Congregation, a Brazilian, will be processing the results of the Apostolic Visitation of Congregations of Religious Women in the United States. I am sure all will recognize the love with which Archbishop Tobin so eloquently expresses the role of religious life in the Church and in our world.