“The charisms of your founders find expression in your many ministries that directly benefit and strengthen our fellow Catholics and the wider community,” the archbishop said in his homily, according to a published version. “For all this, and for so much more, please accept my heartfelt gratitude, coupled with my prayers for you and for your institutes.”
The archbishop presided at the Mass, which included concelebrants Bishops Adam J. Parker and Mark E. Brennan, auxiliary bishops of Baltimore; Monsignor James W. Hannon, western vicar and director of the archdiocesan division of clergy personnel; and Father James Sorra, director of vocations.
The archbishop opted to celebrate a votive Mass – or a Mass for a special intention – in honor of “the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Foot of the Cross.”
He urged the religious sisters, brothers and priests present to consider Mary a “model of consecration for those called to this evangelical way of life.”
“Mary illustrates for you and me complete openness to the Holy Spirit,” the archbishop said, according to his published homily, “an openness that leads to union with the Son of God and intimacy with the Father. In all these ways, Mary models for us what it means to make our lives a gift for others by being wholly consecrated – body, mind and spirit – to God.”
Archbishop Lori acknowledged that such devotion does not necessarily make life easy – for Mary, who watched her son die on the cross, or for religious.
Religious men and women in the Archdiocese of Baltimore serve in parishes and schools. They feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and even run hospitals. They spend lengthy stretches of time in prayer, for the archdiocese and the world.
During the liturgy, they renewed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience which allow them to devote themselves so fully to God.