Vatican City, May 18, 2012 / 15:45 pm
Pope Benedict XVI says he is praying that a renewal of female religious life in the United States will “recapture a sense of the sublime dignity and beauty of the consecrated life.”
“I wish to reaffirm my deep gratitude for the example of fidelity and self-sacrifice given by many consecrated women in your country, and to join them in praying that this moment of discernment will bear abundant spiritual fruit for the revitalization and strengthening of their communities in fidelity to Christ and the Church, as well as to their founding charisms,” the Pope said on May 18.
He made his comments to a delegation of U.S. bishops from the Eastern Catholic churches that is currently in Rome on a May 15-19 “ad limina” pilgrimage.
Last month the Vatican called for a reform of the Maryland-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), after concluding there was a “crisis” of belief throughout its ranks. It also appointed Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle to lead the renewal efforts.
During his May 18 address, Pope Benedict asked the bishops to promote and pray for new religious vocations, since there is an “urgent need in our own time for credible and attractive witnesses to the redemptive and transformative power of the Gospel.”