On Thursday evening, February 1st, we had a beautiful Vigil Mass on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life celebrated by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and con-celebrated by Bishop Eduardo Nevares at Saints Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix. With a strong group of Religious Sisters and Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit, we gathered together with blessed candles to worship the Light of the World, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the center of our lives.
We gathered at the foot of the cross in front of the Cathedral, the cross from St. John Paul II’s visit in Phoenix on September 14, 1987. Bishop Olmsted blessed the candles, which is traditionally done on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2. After blessing the candles, Bishop Olmsted’s candle was lit representing his mission of bearing the Light of the World, to spread the love of Jesus throughout the earth.
Each present lit his/her candle and continued in procession into the dark Cathedral. As the sun set, our lights were shining brightly as we were led. Together we went forth with deep faith and gratitude to the Lord for our vocations to Consecrated Life.
On Thursday, January 18 and Monday, January 29, I participated in very lively vocation panels. One vocation panel was for a class from Bourgade High School at Mater Misericordiae Mission in downtown Phoenix, moderated by Fr. Scott Sperry. After vocation stories were shared by myself, a married couple and a Focus missionary, we attended the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Latin celebrated by a Priest of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). As you can see in the sanctuary, Christmas was being celebrated here after the Baptism of the Lord until February 2.
On Monday, January 29, we had an amazing vocation visit at St. Catherine of Siena Elementary School in Phoenix, organized and hosted by Luisa Lukaszewski. She is the mother of one our seminarians, Peter Lukaszewski. With an enthusiastic and joyful heart, she invited me, Sr. Savina Grace from the Missionaries of Charity, Fr. Ernesto Reynoso, Fr. Robert Rossi, OSC, a married couple, Chris and Windy Hadley and Claire Halbur, an applicant to be a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World. Each of us gave our vocation story and had a delightful time meeting the children from Grades 1-8. Some of the children were dressed up as Saints! Here are some photos:
St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us, that we continue to shine the Light of the World, the love of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior, to all those God gives us to serve.
God bless you all.
With love and prayers,
Sister Anthony Mary Diago, RSM
Director of the Office of Consecrated Life of Phoenix, AZ