Pope Francis has called for a year to celebrate and recognize the gifts of those men and women who have consecrated their lives to God through living the evangelical councils in the church. Sunday, December 14, the Diocese of Brooklyn hosted an opening prayer gathering for this special year at Immaculate Conception Parish, presided by Bishop Chappetto.
As Little Sisters, we had the joy of joining in this celebration with many other consecrated men and women. Sister Maryanne Lopiccolo, SC, said in her opening remarks that as consecrated persons we are, “to give hope and encouragement, to wear ourselves out in service for others, and to be visible signs of the love of God.” Sister Mary Hughs, OP, spoke in her reflection of how blessed we are for being called and chosen by God for His work. She encouraged us to, “hold in our hearts how deeply blessed we are this Advent.” She also said, “how blessed we are by our community life, to be able to preach the Gospel to others, and blessed by our way of life.” She added: “Advent is a time of waiting,” but she encouraged us, “not to wait in awaking the world to Christ by the little acts of kindness we can do for one another and all humanity.”