Last Sunday 26 March, Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin celebrated Mass for the Day for Consecrated Life in Holy Cross Church, Dundrum, Archdiocese of Dublin. During his homily, the Archbishop celebrated the 1,700 consecrated women in Dublin and emphasised their vital role in the life of the Church.
Archbishop Farrell said, “We gather on a day that the Church dedicates to Mary. In celebrating the Solemnity of the Annunciation, what strikes me is Mary’s courage, and her trust in the word addressed to her. She is perplexed: she wonders what this greeting might mean (Luke 1:29), and yet somehow trusts in the goodness and providence of God who reaches right into her life. Almost startling herself, she steps into the unknown. She places her life in God’s hands. Her world changes, almost imperceptibly, but such is the character of much real change: quiet, hidden, silent.
“As you have discovered in living out your own vocations, these qualities are also the marks of God. This is how the Lord is: God does not have to shout, God’s glory is there for all to see, but has to be recognised. Silence, after all, is the language of God (St John of the Cross).”
The Archbishop of Dublin continued, “We are blessed in our Diocese to have over 1,700 consecrated women, living out a diversity of charisms and ministries, sharing their dreams and hopes for the Church and our world, forming generous, imaginative, liberated, and liberating initiatives in response to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor. Our synodal journey – this way of being Church together – is enriched by the contribution of consecrated men and women.
“As religious life has long been an instrument of synodality, striving to involve all the members in the decision making and decision taking (see Working Document Continental Stage), religious are ‘teachers of synodality.’ On my own behalf, as the Bishop of this Diocese of Dublin, and on behalf of the many people who benefit from your service, I wish to acknowledge all this Spirit-filled work and give thanks. This is much more than ‘managing decline’. It is creating an environment – a framework – in which religious, priests and people together in the Archdiocese can respond to and draw strength for the life-transforming call the Lord puts before us.”
To read this homily in full, click here.