Jan. 29, 2016 - Bearers of joy, instruments of brotherhood and protagonists of spirituality and communion. Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, thus summarized the role of consecrated men and women in modern society.
The Cardinal addressed the 4,000 participants in the international meeting which is being held from 28 January to 2 February in Rome and the Vatican at the concluson of the Year of Consecrated Life. Following a prayer vigil — presided by Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, Secretary of the Congregation, on Thursday, 28 January, in St Peter's Basilica — the Cardinal's address opened the conference on Friday, 29 January, which is dedicated to the theme: “Consecrated Life in Communion: A Common Foundation with a Diversity of Expressions”.
Friday morning was characterized by a lengthy and pointed address by Jesuit priest, Christoph Theobald. The theologian reflected on the “common fundation which dwells, i.e. the secret energy which enlivens, the diversity of forms of consecrated life” It is, he said, “an action of God” which calls the sequela every day to draw nearer, to conform to Christ, to serve which, with humility, gives the awaited answers to contemporary society”.