November 19, 2015| MESSAGES | A pastoral letter was published in the dioceses of the Nordic countries to reflect on “the role and function of consecrated life” and to “bring it closer to our faithful” at a time when “the presence and understanding of religious life by Catholics seem to have weakened as well as their interest in it”. Indeed, many religious orders are no longer present and are closing their houses. In the letter – released yesterday in German, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic and Finnish -, the Bishops expressed their “deep gratitude” for the work of religious orders, and above all for their bearing witness to God with their consecrated life, which is an “anticipation of eternal life”. Having recalled their scriptural and historical foundations, the Bishops explained that the “renewal of consecrated life” and “the renewal of the faith of the baptised” support and nourish one another. They also offered some suggestions as to the difficult current context: “pay attention to the signs of the times”; “go always back to your first love” because “only a deep relationship with Jesus can give you strength and guidance for your journey today”; and also “live your mission with joy and authenticity”. Priests, as well as men and women religious, are asked to make themselves available to spiritually accompany young people in search of answers and non-Catholics who want to grow in their faith. Last but not least, an invitation for all to pray for vocations.
Source: Servizio Informazione Religiosa, November 16. 201