In a message on behalf of other Zambian Bishops, Bishop Chisanga said the annual celebration of the World Day for Consecrated Life was also an occasion for introspection and recommitment to the values of a consecration life. Each year, the Catholic Church celebrates the World Day for Consecrated Life together with that of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord,
“The Church in Zambia does recognize, with deep gratitude, your presence and apostolic activities in all dioceses. Through your presence and ministry in the health facilities, schools, nutrition centers as well as other integral human development programs, our Lord Jesus Christ guarantees his continued living presence among his people, especially those on the margins of society. May you fan into an even bigger flame the passion for Christ and the spirit of witnessing by which the dignity of every human person is promoted and upheld,” said the Mansa Bishop.
The Bishop says consecrated persons must continue to carry out their everyday apostolate, whatever it may be, with the love and joy of the Gospel. He also urges self-reflection on the part of the consecrated person.
Instituted by Pope St. John Paul II in 1997, the World Day for Consecrated Life celebrates the selfless witness of the service of consecrated persons in the life of the Church. Consecrated men and women live out their unique vocation through the profession of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience in religious congregations, secular institutes or private vows.
The World Day for Consecrated Life is celebrated on the same day as the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, who is the light of the world. This is symbolic because consecrated persons are called and reminded to be the light of the world through the symbolic lighting of candles during the liturgy of the day. Being the light, consecrated persons reach out to those on the peripheries of society where others find ordinarily hard to reach.