As part of the Year of Consecrated Life, which began in November 2014 and concludes in February 2016, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has organized a five-day world meeting for young consecrated men and women.
The world meeting began on September 15 with a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square. “We want to go immediately to Him, to Jesus Christ, together, as His disciples, and as sons and daughters of our founders and foundresses, allowing ourselves to be seduced by Him, as in the first moments of our calling,” said Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, the prefect of the Congregation.
In his address to the prayer vigil, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, the Congregation’s secretary and a Franciscan, emphasized the importance of generosity, fidelity, and living “according to the logic of the gift,” rather than a narcissistic self-centeredness.
In a recent talk in California, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop of Paris discussed the resurgence of the Church in Ukraine over the past 25 years.
“When our Church came out of the underground in 1990, our Church had been decimated by decades of intense Soviet persecution,” said Bishop Borys Gudziak. “The ranks of our clergy had been reduced to only 300, mostly elderly priests with an average age of 75.”
“Today, our Church in Ukraine, despite war and severe economic pressures, has grown dramatically, with more than 3,000 priests with an average age of 38,” he continued. “Our seminaries are producing hundreds of new priests every year, and vocations are strong.”
Aid to the Church in Need’s project manager in Cuba said in an interview that “over the past few years a growing interest in Christianity has become evident” in a Communist nation where only 60% of the population is baptized and 2% attend Sunday Mass.
“The hunger for God is there,” said Ulrich Kny. “One can surely speak of a small spring[time] of faith.”
When a copy of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre travelled across the country a few years ago, its journey was followed with great enthusiasm and public interest. The number of adult baptisms has also increased.
Greater interest in the Catholic faith is being shown, especially among the young generation. It often happens that the grandparents pass their beliefs on to their grandchildren, while the parents have grown up as complete atheists. The visit of Pope Francis will surely awaken further interest in the faith here.