The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) has paid resounding tribute to missionaries for a wave of missionary endeavours that saw the Catholic Church practically established in all regions of the country by the mid of the twentieth century. Bishop of Mansa Diocese and ZCCB Director of the Consecrated, Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv. has said this in a message to celebrate the Day for those in Consecrated Life, whose annual celebration is attached to the February 2 Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and under the theme: Through you, let the light of the nations, Jesus Christ shine to all the peoples. Bishop Chisanga says the day has accorded the whole Church and all peoples an opportunity to contemplate, with greater appreciation, the gift of the Religious Vocation and its contribution to the holiness of the Church, its mission of evangelization and the general advancement of human society. The Mansa Diocese prelate further noted that the spirit of the risen Lord has at all times provided to the Church in Zambia, Institutes of Consecrated Life with a wide diversity of charisms through which the spiritual richness of the Catholic Church is manifested. He made mention of the Jesuits, the Franciscan Conventuals and Capuchins, the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa, the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate, the Franciscan Missionaries of Assisi, the Dominicans, the Holy Cross among others us various institutes of consecrated life. Bishop Patrick Chisanga, OFM Conv also said that this feast day of the Consecrated during the Jubilee Year of the 125 Years of Catholic Faith in Zambia presents itself as another fitting occasion to reiterate the profound gratitude to the manifold expressions of Consecrated Life in Zambia. “This feast day of the Consecrated during this Jubilee Year of the Catholic Faith in Zambia presents itself as another fitting occasion to reiterate our profound gratitude to the manifold expressions of Consecrated Life in our country today,” He said. He has since thanked people living a consecrated for their relentless commitment to the mission of announcing the Good News and the concomitant social ministries through which they give hope and restore the dignity of God’s people, especially those in the far-flung and often forgotten parts of the country saying the church embraces them as a Divine gift to the local Church and a guarantee of its holiness. “It is our hope that your life in community, inspired by the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience that you profess, will continue to be a prophetic sign to our society as it grapples with the present day challenges of secularism, individualism, corruption, and mediocrity. Do not allow the great spiritual wealth of your consecration and respective charisms to degenerate into obsolesce and irrelevancy through unnecessary compromises and shift from things that really matter – prayer, charity, life, commitment,” he said. Bishop Chisanga, OFM Conv further assured the Church’s support to them so that they may always remain faithful to the inspiration of their respective founders while at the same time being open to an ever more fruitful spiritual and pastoral cooperation with us in line with the needs of respective dioceses where you are established. 2017 is marks 20th Anniversary of the World Day for Consecrated Life since Pope St. John Paul II instituted as a day of prayer for men and women in consecrated life.
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