by Sr. Phyllis Fernandes FMA
WADALA-MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 14, 2015: The World Day for Consecrated Life was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997; a day of prayer for those who have devoted their lives to God through a consecrated life. The feast of the Presentation of the Lord was celebrated on February 2, also known as Candlemas Day. Christ, who is the light of the world invites all consecrated persons to reflect His light to all peoples.
This XIX World Day for Consecrated Life was even more special as Pope Francis declared the whole year as "The Year of the Consecrated Life" with the theme: "Wake up the World." The Parish Priest, Fr. Vivian D'Souza together with his parish team of Our Lady of Dolours, Wadala hosted a very meaningful celebration. It started with all the religious of our parish: Priests and Sisters, gathering around the Eucharistic Lord in adoration and moments of personal encounter, at 5.00 p.m.
A PowerPoint presentation by Sr. Philomena D'Souza on the Document "REJOICE", - Pope Francis' letter to the Religious then followed. She adeptly touched on salient features for reflection. Fr. Vivian dwelt on the "Expectations for the year of Consecrated Life" that Pope Francis traced out in his letter on the occasion of this year of "Consecrated Life."
Moments of silent adoration and reflection then followed and concluded with reflective hymns, prayers and benediction. At 7.00 p.m., we had the solemn Eucharistic celebration during which the Priests of the parish and the Sisters joined in and renewed their consecration after Communion.
It was also the day of "handing over the Creed" to the candidates for First Communion and Confirmation. They participated in the ceremony along with their parents. The homily was centred on the feast and commitment. The atmosphere was one of gratitude to God for His merciful love. The Religious Fathers and Sisters then celebrated with a hearty family meal and get together. "We returned home truly inspired to continue to give our all to Jesus gratefully and generously."