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Awakening deeper faith during the Year of Consecrated Life Print
Guest column
Written by Fr. Gregory Ihm   
Thursday, Feb. 05, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

Pope Francis has declared this year as the Year of Consecrated Life and you will see from his letter that he has several objectives for this year.

Among them being: thanksgiving for all the Lord has accomplished through the various Religious communities, a greater fidelity to the mission established by the founders and foundresses, and embracing the future with hope.

Diocese involved

The Diocese of Madison is looking to assist the Holy Father with these objectives by engaging the priests, Religious, and laity in various events and activities throughout the year.

We are inviting our consecrated men and women to use this year as an opportunity to highlight the many graces received through the living out of their community’s charisms throughout the history of the diocese.

We also look forward to opportunities to joining the various Religious communities in their prayer which is crucial to their identity.


Studying document

With the help of a few of the Religious in the diocese, we also look forward to opportunities to highlight the Church’s understanding of what consecrated life is, primarily through St. John Paul II’s Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata.

We invite the faithful to read and study this document and grow in a deeper knowledge and appreciation of consecrated life, as well as praying for the Religious communities that they may grow in greater fidelity to the mission that Jesus entrusted to their founders and foundresses.

More information on events and activities will be coming on the diocesan website. This year we hope to highlight the graces received from consecrated life, grow in a deeper appreciation for its place in the economy of salvation, and look forward in hope to the flourishing of consecrated life in our diocese for years to come.

Hunger among youth

Recently, I had the privilege of attending the SEEK Conference sponsored by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) where there were nearly 10,000 college students in attendance.

Besides the number of students that were present, there were a lot of priests and Religious there. Everywhere you would go, you would see a Sister or Brother engaged in conversation with a student or several students.

There is a hunger among young people to live a faith-filled life, and they look to men and women who are consecrated to help guide them and teach them the way.

May this year be a year to awaken a deeper faith in the heart of every believer.


Fr. Gregory Ihm is the director of vocations for the Diocese of Madison.