On 26 October 2017 around 80 consecrated women and men from all corners of the Diocese of Parramatta, gathered at the beautiful Polish War Memorial Chapel at Marayong. They came together to celebrate Mass and to share an evening meal.
The principal celebrant of the Mass was Bishop Vincent Long O.F.M Cap, Bishop of Parramatta. He was joined by other religious priests in the Diocese (the Vicar-General of the Diocese was stuck in traffic unfortunately!) The Bishop emphasised in his homily that even though we were small in number, we must continue to be prophetic signs of the kingdom of heaven and to truly go into the deep, to seek the more in our lives and in our work.
I felt these words really spoke to me as I am sure it did to everyone present. We apply it in our own way according to the form of consecrated life we are in. We might be small in number but God makes great use of the people who respond to his call of love.
At the Mass, the Vicar for Consecrated Life acknowledged my presence as a newly consecrated virgin. This made me feel that I was truly supported by sisters and brothers at the gathering, in a vocation where I do not have any religious sisters and brothers. It made me – all of us, feel that we are truly part of a Holy Family of Nazareth.
During the evening meal, we made friends and reunited with other women and men who share similar lifestyles. We also welcomed the arrival of a new religious order in the Diocese – the Institute of the Incarnate Word, from Argentina. Who says the numbers are small when we have the blessings of a new order in the Diocese!
It was a wonderful evening of laughter, love, sharing and beautiful food. We were united in our diversity as we are all consecrated women and men mystically espoused and in love with Christ.
When I returned home, I felt so alive and invigorated by the blessings of the gathering. Consecrated Life is about love. It is about being joyful as spouses of Christ. It is about the more of life which are called to share with all our holy family, which is, in truth, is the kingdom of God. Gatherings like these are really supportive, fun and joyous occasions as we journey along as lovers and servants of Christ.
Consecrated Virgin, Diocese of Parramatta
The homily of Bishop Vincent’s Homily from 26 October 2017