2015 Religious Jubilarians

Religious Serve With the Heart of Jesus

These are the remarks of Sister Maryann Seton Lopiccolo, S.C., the Episcopal Delegate for Religious, at the Sisters’ and Brothers’ Jubilee celebration at the Immaculate Conception Pastoral Center, Douglaston, on May 31.

As always, it is a joy for me to offer each of you Jubilee blessings and congratulations in the name of all the women and men in consecrated life in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

I am very happy to welcome again this year our religious brothers who are jubilarians and their guests as we jointly celebrate this festive day.

Today is a day of great celebration for each of you as you take account of the 25, 50, 60, 65, 70 and 75 years of religious profession! For the 59 sisters and brothers celebrating this year, there is a total of 3,290 years of service given to the Church and the people of God. It is a great day for all of us as we gather to be a part of this happy day for you.

This is a memorable year for you to be celebrating your jubilee as the Universal Church celebrates the Year of Consecrated Life. It is a focused year to think about vocational call in our Church and diocese, and for all of us in every form of consecrated life to reflect on our own call, why we are consecrated, what we do with our lives and most importantly, why we do it.

In his letter to consecrated persons for this year, Pope Francis asks us if we are “Open to the challenge of the Gospel; is it a ‘manual’ for our daily lives? Can we handle the demanding Gospel, to live radically and sincerely as Jesus calls us to live it? Is Jesus really our first and only love, as we promised He would be when we first professed our vows? Only if He is, can we live and love as He did, because we have His heart.”

I look out at each of you today and see you surrounded by the multitude of students, patients, parish groups, clients, agencies and many other people; faces upon faces of those in your years of living and loving the Gospel of Jesus, all those whom you served and whose lives were changed because of you and your heart, rooted in the heart of Jesus.

The Year of Consecrated Life calls to mind with gratitude that kind of past commitment and service and points us to a future of hope where the seeds we planted may grow and flourish and be re-planted for a future Church of Gospel service.

Wake Up the World

But the Year of Consecrated Life also challenges us to live the present passionately – to wake up the world with our prophetic witness through the gift of our charisms, with the heart of Jesus.

What we have done and what we continue to do stand in our legacy of building up the Church, the Body of Christ and the People of God. But the why of what we have done and the why of all that we accomplish belong not to us, but to our God, to Jesus, our first and only Love, Who gave us His heart in return.

So in this special year, we in Brooklyn and Queens, celebrate you, our jubilarians, as witnesses to an ongoing and life-giving love. Ad Multos Annos!