Geraldton Emeritus Bishop Justin Bianchini has last month highlighted the important work of religious priests, brothers and sisters at Mass for the Day of Consecrated Life.
Speaking on the Feast of the Presentation, Thursday 2 February, at the Chapel of St Michael the Archangel, Leederville, Emeritus Bishop Bianchini said by attending the Mass, the congregation was giving thanks for the newborn Christ.
“We come today, to give thanks for this child. In this Mass we are saying to God, we offer Him to you, he is yours, and that we want to go along with His plan for us,” Bishop Emeritus Bianchini said.
Religious Life, said Emeritus Bishop Bianchini, is very similar to the actions of Mary and Joseph who presented the baby Jesus in the temple.
“Each of you here, value you the precious gift of your human life, and you’ve given the most precious gift you have,” Emeritus Bishop Bianchini said.
“You have felt called to offer it to God in this particular way. Offer it back to God and to go along with God’s plan for yourselves.
“I suppose you could say, in the words that Jesus said, ‘Behold, I come to do Your will,’
Joining Emeritus Bishop Bianchini for the Mass was Fr George Kolodziej SDS, Congregational Leader of the Salvatorians in Australia and other religious priests, sisters and brothers.
During the Mass all consecrated women and men renewed their commitment of vows after the blessings of the candles.
Several religious were also congratulated and given a special blessing by Emeritus Bishop Justin for celebrating milestones in their consecrated life journey
- Sr Anita Callaghan, SJA celebrated her 40 anniversary in 2022,
- Sr Graziana Chao OMSC celebrated 65 anniversary in 2022
- Sr Kathleen Hitchcock, SOSJ, Sr Mary Ryan, OP and Br Jim Van der Zalm celebrated their 50th anniversary.
- Sr Mrytle, Sr Margaret Vance OP, Sr Margaret Culhane, Sr Bernadette Hynes, Sr Francis Maguire, SOSJ, Br Peter Thrupp CFC and Br Terry Casey CFC celebrated their 60 anniversary;
- Sr Dora Maguire, SOSJ, Sr Regina and Sr Cecilia OP all celebrated their 70th anniversary
Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition, Sr Lilian Bong SJA presented a welcoming message from the Vatican addressed to all religious persons at the commencement of Mass.
“The message was guided by the synodal journey that focuses on mission; which is ‘widening the tent, an attitude at the heart of missionary action,” Sr Lillian said.
“Mission leads us to the fullness of our Christian vocation; it gives us the opportunity to return to God’s style that ‘is closeness, compassion, tenderness’ which is expressed in words, presence, and through the bonds of friendship,” she said.