Year of Consecrated Life
Religious Communities Dinner
On Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015, Religious Communities of the Diocese gathered for evening prayer, a talk on Consecrated Life, and a barbecue dinner hosted at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Watertown. Fr. Wayne Lobsinger, Pastor of the Parish and Episcopal Vicar for Consecrated Life was master of ceremonies for the evening. Br. Sean Sammon, FMS, a Marist Brother from New York who served for many years as Administrator General for his Community in Rome was the speaker. He reflected on the meaning of Consecrated Life today, its challenges, its hopes, and how it has re-shaped itself today since the Second Vatican Council. His words were uplifting and encouraging - but down to earth and practical.
The evening was an occasion for the Diocese to thank and honour the Religious during the year of Consecrated Life initiated by Pope Francis on November 23, 2014. It was also an opportunity for the many and diverse religious communities serving in the Diocese of Hamilton to gather in prayer and community - and for some to meet each other for the first time! Many of the religious communities have a long standing history in the Diocese, and have contributed generously to the greater community in areas such as healthcare, education, service to the poor and marginalized and ministry to God’s people. The spirit of joy was truly present as different priests, brothers, sisters, and a consecrated virgin shared a few words about the charism and mission of their communities. Many expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to serve in the Diocese of Hamilton.
At this time, there are 26 Religious Communities (13 communities of women and 13 communities of men), and one consecrated virgin, with a total of 314 members.
Bishop Crosby attended not only as the Bishop, but also as a member of a religious community himself. As the gathering came to a close, he shared his own discovery of Religious Life and offered his thanks and appreciation. Bishop Crosby shared a key message on "How Good it is ..." (from the Psalm "Ecce Quam Bonum...") which was the theme of his Pastoral Letter in the Year for Consecrated Life:
"Where would the Church be in Hamilton, indeed throughout the world, without the witness and dedicated ministry of women and men in religious communities, apostolic societies and secular institutes who have given themselves totally to serve the Lord?”