~ by Soli Salgado, Global Sisters Report
For the month of February, Pope Francis’ prayer intention is for all religious sisters and consecrated women, for “what would the church be without religious sisters and consecrated laywomen?” he said in a video message announcing his theme for the month. “The church cannot be understood without them.”
The pope has focused on women religious before: His October 2020 intentions was for women’s leadership in the church, and his October 2018 intention was for the “role of the religious.” Now, he prays that sisters “show the beauty of God’s love and compassion as catechists, theologians and spiritual guides.”
“I invite them to fight when, in some cases, they are treated unfairly, even within the church; when they serve so much that they are reduced to servitude – at times, by men of the church,” Francis said in the video message. “Do not be discouraged. May you keep making God’s goodness known through the apostolic works you do, but, above all, through your witness of consecration.”
The pope encouraged all women religious to discern and choose what is best for their missions and to “find new responses to the challenges of our times.”
He also asked that sisters continue making an impact on the poor and marginalized, in particular, as well as those enslaved by traffickers.