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 Kaunas, November 18–19: First National Congress of Consecrated Life

First national Congress of Consecrated Life took place in Kaunas on November 18–19. Three-day congress including both women and men living various forms of consecrated life was initiated by the Conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious Congregations. The Congress was intended to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Vatican II Decree “Perfectae Caritatis”; to deepen reflection on the identity of consecrated life; to foster co-operation among consecrated congregations, and to provide information for Lithuanian society on various forms of consecrated life.

Key-not speaker at the Congress was Italian missionary Fabio Ciardi OMI.

In his homily at the Mass in the Seminary St. Trinity church on November 18 Cardinal Audrys Bačkis invited to renew the mentality of consecrated life and to live community life based on Christ, thus giving testimony to “contemporary world that doesn’t comprehend traditional language of religion”.

Sr Ignë Marijođiűtë, President of the Council of Women Religious Major Superiors Conference said, the Congress concluded the 15 years period of reestablishment of religious congregations after the abolishment of Soviet regime. According to Sr. Ignë, religious should be primarily concerned with fostering of human dignity and spirituality of community – “in contemporary European society sick of individualism, divisions and mutual rejections”.

There are ca. 800 women religious (38 congregations) and ca 200 men (14 congregations) of consecrated life in Lithuania.

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