(Macau, February 2, 2015): The celebration of the Day of Consecrated Life took place at the Fatima Church, especially adorned for the occasion, where some two hundred religious, women and men, old and young, from far and near, belonging to a rich variety of cultures, speaking different languages, etc., but sharing the same Spirit, gathered on the second of February, day of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple and Day of the Consecrated Life.
Under the motto “Consecrated Life brings joy and hope to People”, faithfully reflecting the atmosphere of the weeks previous to the celebration, and at the rhythm of the Hymn “Wake the World with Dawning Joy”, written ‘ad hoc’ by Steven C. Warner, and interpreted by our young brothers and sisters, eventually joined by the whole assembly present, the Paraliturgy began with a Solemn procession with the Book of Holy Scriptures, accompanied by a representative of every Congregation/Institute present in Macau, holding a small lit candle. Then, the Enthronement of the Holy Bible and a Prayer led by the Right Reverent José Lai, Bishop of Macau, followed.
Next we listened to some words, in Chinese and English, from Saint Paul (1Th 5: 16-18), and the Hole Father (from his Letter to Religious Life), alternating with some religious songs suitable for the moment.
One of the aspects that was meant to be highlighted during the celebration was the prophetic, testimonial dimension of the Consecrated Life, so frequently mentioned by Pope Francis. This was the moment to let two lay voices be heard: that of Jorge, a Macau historian who talked briefly to us (in English) about how Religious Life has brought joy and hope to the people of Macau from its very beginnings; and that of a young man, Chiu Heung Sing, (in Chinese), witness of a very touching recent incident, where a consecrated person has brought joy and hope to people very close to him.
After a few words by the Bishop, the ceremony contemplated to have the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, which ended with the Prayer of the year of Consecrated Life (Chinese and English) and the concluding Hymn.
The fraternal dinner that ensued, livened up by the choir members, was a present from people who wanted to manifest their acknowledgement and gratefulness to the Religious of Macau. To them our most sincere and heart-felt thanks and God’s blessings.
St. Dominic’s Priory. Macau.