Celebrating Consecrated Life

The World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997 to honour women and men in Religious Congregations for their commitment and dedication to various ministries within the Church.

Since that time, the late Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have continued to celebrate a special Mass in St Peters Basilica, Rome, to coincide with the global celebration of Candlemas; also known as The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. On 2nd February each year candles are blessed, symbolizing Christ as the light of the world. In the same way, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Christ to all whom they meet.

Archbishop John has included this Mass to his annual calendar as a way of encouraging and thanking all Consecrated People in the Archdiocese for their response to God’s call to serve Him in the Church here in Southwark. This year approximately 70 members of various religious congregations attended from across the Archdiocese, including Kent, in addition to a number of clergy.

Archbishop Wilson celebrated a beautiful Mass alongside 6 priests and offered a thought-provoking homily based on Julian of Norwich. 

Read Archbishop Wilson's Homily

In addition he also remembered the late Fr Jim Hurley, who was Southwark's Episcopal Vicar for Religious for many years, and commended the work of his successor, Abbot Hugh Allan O.Praem, who has taken on the mantle of care for Religious in the Archdiocese. Following the Mass, all were invited to Amigo Hall for refreshments, to spend time with one other and exchange news.

The Mass to mark the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life has become an important annual service for Religious in Southwark, who contribute significantly towards the life in the Archdiocese, carrying out many pastoral good works and offering ongoing prayer, thereby bringing the compassionate and healing presence of Christ into the world.

Photographs from the Mass for Consecrated Life 2024