As a means of thanking and celebrating the witness and fidelity of the religious Sisters serving in the Diocese, the Office of Clergy and Consecrated Life annually hosts the Sisters Convocation, a morning that features the celebration of Mass by the bishop, a speaker and presentation, and a festive luncheon.
This year’s celebration, September 30 at the Diocesan Center, welcomed some 40 Sisters from various religious congregations, who rejoiced in gathering with one another and with Bishop Timothy Senior, celebrant of the Mass.
“I recognize the great gift that consecrated life is to the Diocese of Harrisburg. We’re so blessed to have so many congregations, so many consecrated religious living here and serving here,” the bishop said in his homily. “You’ve been so much a part of the history of the Diocese and continue to be part of its life and vitality… You remind us of our always belonging to the Lord.”
He expressed his gratitude for the Sisters’ continued witness and fidelity to giving their lives over to God, just as Jesus did. “We see that in the witness of the consecrated life, to the evangelical counsels and to the handing over of our lives. That witness continues to bear fruit as we embrace it and seek to live it,” he said.
Following Mass, Sister Pamela Smith, SS.C.M., Director for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Diocese of Charleston, S.C., offered a presentation on the Real Presence of the Eucharist and how it is celebrated in various traditions and cultures around the world. In a slideshow of photos, she told stories of people’s experiences with the Eucharist and how it changed their lives.
“The Eucharistic Revival asks us to consider extremely meaningful experiences of the Eucharist. It is easy to fall into routine or be distracted during Mass,” Sister Pamela said. “We need to stop each time and say, ‘I just received the Body of Christ – what a miracle!’”
“Only Christ can fulfill the longing of our hearts. But then, we must go and do something great with it. We must bear Christ to the world,” she said. “The Eucharistic Revival begins with our own faith, fervor and passion for life.”
(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness