We were blessed to attend The Institute of Religious Life (IRL) regional meeting on Saturday, November 9, 2013 held at the magnificent Mission Church in Boston, MA. The theme of the meeting was: Out of the Desert, Into the Promised Land. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said: “Recent decades have seen the advance of a spiritual ‘desertification’... In the desert are needed people of faith who, with their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive.” The day began with Holy Mass concelebrated by eight priests of different religious orders. Holy Mass was reverent and inspiring as religious priests and nuns lifted up harmonious voices in songs of praise to our God. Three great talks were given by three great speakers. "The Consecrated Life as an Instrument of Healing and Hope" -- by Mother Olga Yaqob; "Religious Life Today Revisited: Insights of the Servant of God Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J." --Rev. Peter Giroux, "Spiritual Warfare: Engaging in the Battle for Souls" --Fr. Thomas Nelson, O.Praem. The meeting ended with Exposition, Rosary & Benediction.
The IRL was Founded in 1974 by Servant of God Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J. in response to the Holy See’s plea to help save religious life in the United States. A major part of the IRL’s early mission was to guide individual religious and institutes of consecrated life through a “spiritual desert” experienced by many after the Second Vatican Council. By drawing on the Council’s rich documents and subsequent Church directives, the IRL has sought to lead others to the “promised land” of authentic renewal. Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the Institute on Religious Life. Fr. Hardon was aided by outstanding co-founders and by early collaborators, including Blessed Mother Teresa, Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, and many others. While others were resigned to a generation of turmoil in religious life, the IRL’s founders persevered in hope. They weren’t content to sit back and watch things collapse. They rolled up their sleeves and began to build and prepare for a much brighter future. Today, the IRL has expanded to meet the needs of established orders and a growing number of emerging religious communities and other institutes of consecrated life. Our dream for renewal--religious in every parish, school and monastery—is beginning to become a reality!
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TO ADORE OUR LORD!
The Franciscan Handmaids of the Immaculate seek daily to draw closer to Our Lord. Adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament is fundamental to Our spiritual life as we seek to conform our hearts unto His. Additionally, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Sorrows, we place ourselves in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, asking Her to bring us closer to Her Son.