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Consecrated men and women honored

By Lisa Schulte
The Catholic Voice

Archbishop Curtiss visits with Sister Ann Marie Petrylka, OSM, (left) and Franca Slavo, a member of the Apostolic Oblates, following the Consecrated Life Mass. Photo by Lisa Schulte
Consecrated men and women of the Archdiocese of Omaha were honored for their service to the people of Northeast Nebraska at a special Mass Feb. 5 at St. Patrick Church in Fremont.

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss presided at the liturgy, which marked the church's annual celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life on Feb. 6.

More than 600 men and women serve in the archdiocese as religious priests, brothers, sisters and members of secular institutes. They minister in a variety of ways. Some are involved in education, while others are missionaries and counselors. Many serve in schools, hospitals, parishes and archdiocesan offices.

The archdiocese is blessed to have representatives of 24 women religious orders, six men religious orders, two third orders, two secular institutes and five special communities, Archbishop Curtiss said.

"It's a rich resource to have in the archdiocese," he said.

Sister Jackie Thorn, OSM, director of the Consecrated Life Office for the archdiocese, said there are at least 10 men and women in formation this year in the religious communities, which is a good indication of the Holy Spirit's presence in the world today.

"I find that the younger people and the college-aged people are very open to talking about consecrated life," she said. "We're very honest and we're willing to answer any questions that they have."

The Consecrated Life Office was formed about six years ago by Archbishop Curtiss to increase awareness in the archdiocese of consecrated life in all its forms and to maintain and support communication with the various groups of consecrated men and women in the archdiocese. It also serves as an initial contact for those interested in consecrated life.

"Archbishop Curtiss is very vocal on his support of vocation work, both to priesthood and consecrated life," Sister Thorn said. "That has helped immensely … to know you have that support and that he's not afraid to talk about it."

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