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Wednesday, 24 December 2014 16:07

Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart joyful witness to year of Consecrated life

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When Pope Francis decreed 2015 to be the Year of Consecrated Life, he called on consecrated men and women of the Church to "wake up the world" with their testimony of faith, holiness and hope.

The Year of Consecrated Life began on 30 November and will conclude on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord on 2 February, 2016.

The Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Australia have invited Sisters from around the world to gather for formation and community, in response to Pope Francis' call for religious to look to the past with gratitude, live the present with passion, and embrace the future with hope.

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Sr Philomena, a Congolese Daughter of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, "finds it a privilege that I'm one of the consecrated ones".

"Although we are different we share the same charism and the same spirit," she said.

After 16 years with the order, the gathering in Australia gave her a deeper realisation "that I belong to an international congregation, to the big family of the Sacred Heart".

Sr Ursula, from Jakarta in Indonesia, said her congregation wanted to use the Year of Consecrated Life "to improve our mission".

As an international missionary order, she stressed the importance of the congregational bond overcoming cultural differences.

"We come from different cultures, and as missionaries of an international order we have to know the other congregations, how they share the life of the Sacred Heart every day."

She called on "all religious" to use the Year of Consecrated Life as "an opportunity to renew their commitment".

Sr Francesca, a young Sister from Papua New Guinea, has been doing pastoral work for the past two years to prepare her life as a missionary.

"I'm looking forward to the future," she said.

With few religious in the country, "it's easy for us to work with the people".

"We get full support from them."

Sr Philippa Murphy from the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart at Kensington was optimistic the year would "bring affirmation in what we do, and what we try to do".

"Many of our Sisters who are elderly are very prayerful women," she said.
"We still say that we are women of heart on mission, it doesn't matter what age we are.

"There is a spirit ofjoy and affirmation that the pope has announced a year for consecrated [life]."