Vocations: February 2011 Archives

Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo is celebrating their 25th anniversary as a congregation of priests. The Fraternity is a new community of priests in the Church, founded by Monsignor Massimo Camisasca in 1985. It was signed into Church law in 1999 by Pope John Paul II as a Society of Apostolic Life. On Saturday, February 13, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI met with the Fraternity's  founder, leadership and seminarians. Here's the text of the Pope's address to members of the Fraternity.


It is with real joy that I meet with you, priests and seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Charles, who have gathered here on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of its birth. I greet and thank the founder and superior general, Monsignor Massimo Camisasca, his council and all of you, relatives and friends who are part of the community's circle. I greet in particular the Archbishop of the Mother of God of Moscow, Monsignor Paolo Pezzi, and Don Julián Carrón, president of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, which symbolically expresses the fruits and the roots of the work of the Fraternity of St. Charles. This moment brings back to my mind my long friendship with Monsignor Luigi Giussani and bears witness to his charisma.

Released earlier today, the Pope gave the Church his thinking and hopes for the living and the promotion of vocations. Very clear is the Pope's insistence on one's being familiar with the Scriptures, friendship with the Lord cultivated through personal and liturgical prayer. Also, one's own self-awareness factors into the discernment of one's vocation, whether to religious life, priesthood or to the lay state. May the Lord of the Harvest grant an increase.

The 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, to be celebrated on 15 May 2011, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, invites us to reflect on the theme: "Proposing Vocations in the Local Church". Seventy years ago, Venerable Pius XII established the Pontifical Work of Priestly Vocations. Similar bodies, led by priests and members of the lay faithful, were subsequently established by Bishops in many dioceses as a response to the call of the Good Shepherd who, "when he saw the crowds, had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd", and went on to say: "The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest!" (Mt 9:36-38).

Presentation - Candlemas.jpeg

In today's feast we contemplate the Lord Jesus whom Mary and Joseph take to the Temple "to present him to the Lord" (Luke 2:22). Revealed in this evangelical scene is the mystery of the Son of the Virgin, the consecrated One of the Father, who came into the world to carry out his will faithfully (cf. Hebrews 10:5-7).

Simeon points to him as "light for revelation to the Gentiles" (Luke 2:32), and proclaims with prophetic word his supreme offer to God and his final victory (cf. Luke 2:32-35). It is the meeting of the two Testaments, the Old and the New. Jesus enters the ancient Temple, He who is the new Temple of God: He comes to visit his people, bringing to fulfillment obedience to the Law and inaugurating the end times of salvation.

Heilengkreutz monks2.jpgFebruary 2, Candlemas, is since 1997, World Day of Consecrated Life was instituted by Pope John Paul II. Candlemas is a feast of encounter. In years past the Pope celebrated the Mass but this year he's celebrating Vespers. Four years ago I was there with some friends and it was a widely beautiful experience because we were united in prayer and in communion with Pope Benedict with all the various charisms --religious orders, congregations, religious and secular institutes-- called by the Lord into existence for the entire Church, not just for a select few. While a man professes the vows of a Capuchin or Benedictine his vocation is for his own salvation and for the witness of the Resurrection. It is not a case of either-or. This is an important point: a day of prayer like the one for consecrated life is not exclusively for those in vows, but for all of the faithful who are called to live a life of holiness, a life of conversion rooted in Baptism. Pope Benedict notes three aspects of the day of prayer for consecrated life: to thank and praise God for the gift of the consecrated life, to promote and appreciation with all the faithful of this vocation and to invite all the vowed people to recognize what the Lord has done in them through the Gospel.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Vocations category from February 2011.

Vocations: January 2011 is the previous archive.

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