Celebrating the joy of prayer, discernment and the Religious life
Sister Yolanda with children at an orphanage run by Catholic nuns in Luanda, capital of Angola. dpa/Alamy
“If we were to ask people to express in one word their life’s dream, it would not be difficult to imagine the answer: ‘To be loved’. It is love that gives meaning to life because it reveals life’s mystery. Indeed, we only have life if we give it; we truly possess it only if we generously give it away.”
Pope Francis Vocation Sunday 2021
In the year 2015 Pope Francis announced a year dedicated to Consecrated Life. He asked religious to “Wake the World”. A group of religious in the North West of England decided to take up the challenge and organised a two day event that would bring young and old together to celebrate religious life in all its forms. From this was born Living Joyfully. The Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool was buzzing with activity as the religious and school children met together. Vocation stories were shared, and questions answered, it really was a joyful event, and many speak about it to this day. The second day of the event was dedicated to those aged over 18 who were interested in meeting with religious and learning more about our way of life.
Again, we are delighted to announce that a group of religious spread across the United Kingdom are again taking up this challenge and Living Joyfully 2021 is about to take place.
The group of Religious male and female are arranging a three-day event in the lead up to Vocation Sunday, 25 April 2021.
Entitled again Living Joyfully, it is to be a celebration of Religious Life in the UK. Thursday 22 and Friday 23 will see young people from secondary schools around the country meeting with Religious online, to find out more about the Vows of poverty, chastity, hospitality, and obedience, to learn about the different forms of Religious Life present in the Church today and to ask questions of Religious.
Then on Saturday 24 there will be an opportunity for over-18s to log-on and meet with a variety of Religious, hear vocation stories, to learn more about prayer and discernment and to join in the celebration.
The religious organising the event are clear it is a celebration and a sharing of the riches of their way of life. They want to offer young people help in making life choices on their walk with God, whatever their vocation in life.
The event is modelled on the two-day conference at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral in 2015 for the Year of Consecrated Life as mentioned above which saw hundreds of young people meet with Consecrated men and women from across the UK.
This year we are confident that the same joyful atmosphere will be possible even during Covid-19 and everything being organised as zoom, teams’ online events, we are confident that we can share our way of life with others even through technology. Only 12 months ago we would never have thought it possible to reach out to so many young people at the same time from the comfort of our own homes. However, we find ourselves in this new world and have taken on the challenge of reaching out to others in this new way. Pope Francis reminds us in his letter for World Day of vocations, that Josephs dreams led him into experiences he would never have imagined. We invite you and the young people to follow your dreams and ponder the question: “What is God’s dream for you?”
Moving forward, the Religious Vocations Team hope to be able to offer this event at another time, so if you missed out this time then watch out for the next Living Joyfully event.]