Zambian Bishops Express "deep gratitude" for Apostolic Activities of the Consecrated

Zambia religious women celebrating World Day for Consecrated Life

On the occasion of the 24th World Day for Consecrated Life marked February 2, the Bishops in Zambia have expressed gratitude for the various apostolates of consecrated persons that make visible the presence of Jesus among the people of God in the Southern Africa nation.

“The Church in Zambia does recognize, with deep gratitude, your presence and apostolic activities in all the Dioceses,” reads part of a message addressed to consecrated persons in the country and signed by the Director for the Commission for Consecrated in Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB), Bishop Patrick Chisanga.

“Through your presence and ministry in the health facilities, schools, nutrition centres as well as other integral human development programs, our Lord Jesus Christ guarantees his continued presence among his people, especially those on the margins of society,” the member of Order of Friars Minor Conventuals (OFM Conv.) added in the February 2 message availed to ACI Africa.

In the one-page message, the Prelate who is the Local Ordinary of Mansa Diocese termed the day as an opportunity for the whole Church “to contemplate, with greater appreciation, the gift of Religious Vocation and its unique contribution to the holiness and mission in the world today.”

He implored the consecrated persons in his country to “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.”


Addressing himself to the consecrated persons in the landlocked country, the 48-year-old Prelate invited them to take the annual celebration “as the opportune occasion of self-introspection to the values” of their consecration.

“I further urge you to carry out your daily apostolate, whatever it may be, with the love and joy of the Gospel, radiating the particular flavor of the Charism and spirituality of your congregation,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the East African nation of Kenya, various dioceses continue to celebrate the day under the theme of the Year of the Word of God.

The Catholic Diocese of Murang’a celebrated the day on Monday, February 3 with the Local Ordinary Bishop James Maria Wainaina thanking the consecrated men and women in the diocese for their selfless service.

The Archdiocese of Nairobi is set to celebrate the day on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at the Holy Family Minor Basilica, Nairobi.

More in Africa

The World Day for Consecrated Life was instituted by Pope St. John Paul II in 1997, to be celebrated on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2, every year.

In his message on the first edition of the day issued on January 6, 1997, the the 264th Successor of St. Peter termed the purpose of the day as “threefold.”

“In the first place, it answers the intimate need to praise the Lord more solemnly and to thank him for the great gift of consecrated life, which enriches and gladdens the Christian community by the multiplicity of its charisms and by the edifying fruits of so many lives totally given to the cause of the Kingdom,” the Pope explained.

The Holy Father also noted that the day “is intended to promote a knowledge of and esteem for the consecrated life by the entire People of God.”

The third purpose for the day, which the Pontiff said “regards consecrated persons directly” is an invitation “to celebrate together solemnly the marvels which the Lord has accomplished in them, to discover by a more illumined faith the rays of divine beauty spread by the Spirit in their way of life, and to acquire a more vivid consciousness of their irreplaceable mission in the Church and in the world.”


In his 1996 Post-Synodal Exhortation Vita Consecrata, Pope St. John Paul II compared the various forms of consecrated life “to a plant with many branches which sinks its roots into the Gospel and brings forth abundant fruit in every season of the Church's life.”

He identified the forms as Monastic Life; Order of Virgins, Hermits and Widows; Institutes devoted completely to contemplation; Apostolic religious life; Secular Institutes; Societies of Apostolic Life; and new expressions of consecrated life.