Dear Friends in Christ,
The Year of Consecrated Life came to a close on Tuesday, February 2nd, on the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord. In the Diocese of Phoenix, the Closing Mass was on the Vigil of the Feast of the Presentation on February 1st at St. Mary’s Basilica. We give thanks to God for the abundant blessings during this special Year in which we honored the gift of the Consecrated Life, a vocation of Religious Brothers, Sisters and Priests who have professed vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, a total self-surrender to Jesus Christ who became poor, chaste and obedient. It is a life in which the consecrated man or woman is configured to Jesus Christ by fidelity to these vows. Those who are consecrated, set apart for God (Christ) alone, are completely dedicated to Him and bear His light to all with the gifts of spiritual motherhood and fatherhood.
On Monday, February 1st at 6 p.m., Bishop Olmsted celebrated a Solemn Mass with the Blessing of Candles and a candlelit procession into a totally dark Basilica. There were a significant number of Religious Priests, Sisters and Brothers participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as well as members of the Knights of Columbus, the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre and the Order of Malta. Processing with our blessed candles, we were reminded that our witness to Christ is light that shines in the dark world with flames that illuminate expansively with love.
I would like to share with you pictures of this unforgettable and dignified liturgy.
The Blessings received from God during this Year of Consecrated Life were overflowing, and now we are in the Year of Mercy in which we will continue to experience the love, consolation and paternity of God our Father revealed by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May each and everyone of us be a lamb in His arms. Ecce Agnus Dei.
Your Sister in Christ,
Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM