On February 2, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily that “In concomitance with this liturgical feast, Venerable John Paul II, beginning in 1997, wished that the whole Church should celebrate a special Day of Consecrated Life. In fact, the oblation of the Son of God -- symbolized by his presentation in the Temple -- is the model for every man and woman that consecrates all his or her life to the Lord." Accordingly, the members of the religious family of the Institute of the Incarnate Word traditionally have a community celebration on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
The feast day began with the solemn celebration of the Holy Mass in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Father Pablo Bonello was the principal celebrant and homilist. During the homily, he explained that following the example of Jesus, religious consecrate themselves to the service of the Lord. This consecration is “complete, definitive, and exclusive,” especially through the religious vows. It is complete in that we offer all our being: through the religious vow of poverty we offer up our external goods; through the vow of chastity our human affections; and through the vow of obedience our spiritual goods. It is definitive when the religious is perpetually professed. It is exclusive because “God is the only reason for our consecration.”
After the homily, the perpetually professed priests and deacons repeated their vows to remain faithful forever to the constitutions laid out by the Institute of the Incarnate Word.
We thank God for the gift of our vocation and we pray through the intercession of Our Lady of Perpetual Help for perseverance in our vocations.
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