“What a wonderful vocation you have been given!

Bishop Alan Hopes expressed his gratitude for the generosity and witness of the Consecrated and Religious of the Diocese of East Anglia at a Candlemas on Friday February 2.

The day, at St John’s Cathedral in Norwich, was attended by around 45 Religious of the Diocese with a Candlemas procession and solemn Mass followed by lunch in the Narthex.

In his homily, Bishop Alan said: “In putting God first in your lives, by being passionate in living and proclaiming the Gospel in your lives, you display that the Kingdom of God is already present and active in our world.

“What a wonderful vocation you have been given! Never be afraid to speak about your calling. One short conversation may sow the seed of vocation in someone.  Take advantage in your parish or in your work to speak about vocation. This is the year when the Synod of Bishops in October in Rome will be discussing: Youth, faith and vocational discernment.

“On behalf of the Diocese, I would like to express our gratitude to you all for your generosity and witness, both in the past, now and all you will do in the future. Please pray for us and may God continue to bless you in every way,” said Bishop Alan.

The Mass was a celebration of Consecrated Life held on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It is a particularly important feast day for men and women living the religious life. The Gospel in the Mass remembers Simeon and Anna who dedicated their lives to God and stayed in the Temple in Jerusalem waiting to see the Lord. They recognised the baby Jesus when He was presented at the Temple following Jewish tradition. The feast can be an opportunity for people to renew vows and promises.

The feast is traditionally known as Candlemas as candles are often blessed on this feast to be used throughout the year.

Picture by Julia Stafford.