United States Conference of Secular institutes

Winter Mountaineer – December 2022

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Secular Institutes

Dear Friends,
The Advent journey from darkness to light, from Heaven to earth, is a time of deep reflection for us to be ever mindful that as God is coming to earth, we are climbing to heaven through an interior journey of prayer and reflection and an outward journey of the love of Christ in our neighbor.
In Psalm 121:1-2, we hear the prophet remind us ―O lift thine eyes to the mountain whence cometh help.‖ Heaven and earth meet at the top of the mountain. From Mount Sinai came the Ten Commandments; on Mount Tabor, Christ revealed his glory to several of his apostles. How do we ascend that mountain? Saint Pope Paul VI described our work as members of secular institutes in 1970 ―you are walking on an inclined plane…it is hard work to go up but a challenge. You are spiritual mountaineers with a stiff climb before you…your consecra- tion is not only a commitment, it is also a help, a support; love it, it is a blessing and gives joy to your heart…it makes you able to realize the paradox of charity: giving, giving to others means receiving, in Christ.‖ So, we persevere daily to reach the stable and adore him.
We have wonderful news this fall with the acceptance of our invitation by Bishop Mark Rivituso, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, Missouri, to be our Episcopal Moderator. Father Scott Jones of the Society of the Priests of the Heart of Jesus reached out to Bishop Rivituso, whom he knew through the Archdiocese and holds in high regard. (Biography of Bishop Rivituso appears later in this newsletter.)
I wish to thank the principal officers for their assistance in gathering information, both on multicultural vocations and also on the topics of vocations, continuance, and governance in their institutes. I thank each responder and am grateful to you for your help.
Upcoming dates to put on your schedule: February 7th at 2 pm ET for our Zoom with the principal officers to report on the meeting in Rome with the Dicastery for Consecrated Life, the website, and other matters. Also note our annual conference will be September 15-17, 2023, at Holy Family Passionist Center in West Hartford CT. We look forward to seeing you and working together for our conference.
May each of you enjoy the blessings and joy of Christmas as we celebrate the birth of the infant Savior who made Heaven and earth.
Sue Larkin

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