Pope’s February prayer intention: For religious sisters and consecrated women

By Devin Watkins, 4 February 2022

 

Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of February, and invites Catholics to pray for religious sisters and consecrated women as they continue in their mission with courage.

“What would the Church be without religious sisters and consecrated laywomen? The Church cannot be understood without them.”

Pope Francis made that affirmation in his February prayer intention, released on Tuesday by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

The Pope encouraged all consecrated women to discern how best they can respond to the challenges facing humanity.

“I exhort them to keep working and to have an impact with the poor, with the marginalized, with all those who are enslaved by traffickers,” he said. “I especially ask them to make an impact on this.”

Unfair treatment

Pope Francis also prayed for the many women religious who “show the beauty of God’s love and compassion” through their ministry as catechists, theologians, and spiritual guides, even when they encounter obstacles.

“I invite them to fight when, in some cases, they are treated unfairly, even within the Church,” he urged, “when they serve so much that they are reduced to servitude —at times, by men of the Church.”

When faced with these difficulties, women religious should “not be discouraged,” said the Pope. “May you keep making God’s goodness known through the apostolic works you do. But above all through your witness of consecration.”

Church’s gratitude

The Pope then urged all Catholics to pray for the women who have consecrated their lives to God, and to express their appreciation for their courage and mission.

“Thank you,” Pope Francis told the Church’s consecrated women,” for what you are, for what you do, and for how you do it.”

Vocational dynamism

The Pope Video for this month was produced with the collaboration of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), according to a press release accompanying the prayer intention.

The organization brings together over 1,900 religious congregations, representing over 630,000 women religious throughout the world.

Sr. Jolanta Kafka, President of the UISG, said the Pope’s prayer intention for February encourages women religious to continue in their vocation of service to the Church.

“We share with [young people] the dynamism of the vocation to which we are called, to participate in the joy of the Gospel and in hope, in a world where we are all brothers and sisters,” she said.

Opportunity to know religious women better

Fr. Frederic Fornos SJ, international director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, praised the work of the Church’s consecrated women, adding that he received his religious formation alongside many women religious.

At the Pope’s request, he said, February “is a good occasion for all of us to get to know them better in their diversity and to discover their contribution to the mission of the Church and the challenges of our time.”

Image: Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network

Below is a translation of the Pope’s video message

This month, we will pray in a special way for religious sisters and consecrated women.
What would the Church be without religious sisters and consecrated laywomen? The Church cannot be understood without them.
I encourage all consecrated women to discern and choose what is best for their mission in the face of the world’s challenges that we’re experiencing.
I exhort them to keep working and to have an impact with the poor, with the marginalized, with all those who are enslaved by traffickers; I especially ask them to make an impact on this.
And let us pray that they may show the beauty of God’s love and compassion as catechists, theologians, and spiritual guides.
I invite them to fight when, in some cases, they are treated unfairly, even within the Church; when they serve so much that they are reduced to servitude —at times, by men of the Church.
Do not be discouraged. May you keep making God’s goodness known through the apostolic works you do. But above all through your witness of consecration.
Let us pray for religious sisters and consecrated women, thanking them for their mission and their courage; may they continue to find new responses to the challenges of our times.
Thank you for what you are, for what you do, and for how you do it.

With thanks to Vatican News and Devin Watkins, where this article originally appeared.

 

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