This year has been designated by Pope Francis the Year of Consecrated Life, in which all religious women and men are being urged to "wake up the world!" with their testimony of lives given in love and lived joyfully and in hope.
Already this year some Ignatian congregations in this country have welcomed women to new stages of formation and incorporation. The Society of the Sacred Heart welcomed a new novice, Barbara, on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, and the Faithful Companions of Jesus have received a new postulant, Els. Next month their other postulant will begin her novitiate, while they began the year with the joy of Anouska's final profession of vows. Meanwhile, the Congregation of Jesus, spiritual descendants of Mary Ward and the very first Ignatian women, have just welcomed Ann to the very first stage - candidacy - and Theodora to the next stage - postulancy.
We assure all these women, and all those in formation in Ignatian congregations, of our prayerful support as they discern and respond to God's call.
February 2nd, feast of Candlemas, is the World Day for Consecrated Life, when we are invited to pray very especially for all religious. Please pray especially for all religious members of the Ignatian family here and abroad, that they may live lives of joyful witness to the love of the God who has called them.