Saturday, May 27, 2017

In the Archdiocese of New Orleans today: a consecrated virgin

Image may contain: 1 person, wedding, table and indoor
Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing and wedding
Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing and wedding
Image may contain: 2 people, wedding

Clarion Herald
The bride was fashionably early.
On her 36th birthday, Elizabeth Rizzo was in position early in the back of Our Lady of the Rosary Church today for the 10:30 a....m. Mass in which she would become consecrated as a "bride of Christ."
Rizzo made promises to Archbishop Gregory Aymond to live her life as "a consecrated virgin living in the world" – one of about 235 women in the United States and 4,000 throughout the world.
Rizzo, who will continue to work as a real estate clerk in the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, wore a white wedding dress and was accompanied in the opening procession by Sister of Mount Carmel Beth Fitzpatrick, vicar for religious for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and her younger sister, Miriam Rizzo.
Rizzo sat in the front pew with her parents, Deacon Pete Rizzo and his wife Gayle. After the Gospel (John 15:9-17) – "This, I command you, love one another" – Rizzo lit a small oil lamp, symbolic of the women in the parable of the 10 virgins who awaited Christ's coming, and walked into the sanctuary after being called forth by Archbishop Aymond.
In his homily, Archbishop Aymond called the liturgy of consecration "historic" for the archdiocese. He reminded the congregation that Rizzo would continue in her job, showing others in her daily life the light of Christ.
Rizzo counsels people who are in danger of losing their homes through defaulting on their mortgages.
The archbishop said Rizzo would promise to pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily for the church, to pray for the bishop and to pray for the special intentions of priests and for women who have been raped or sexually abused.
"To swim with the tide can be fun; however, whenever one is courageous enough to swim against the tide, it can be very, very challenging," Archbishop Aymond said. "Pope Francis says we must swim against the tide in order to be disciples of the Lord Jesus. That is also true to live in the world as a consecrated virgin – swimming against the tide."
The archbishop said some of the baptized are called to live a life of consecrated virginity. "It is a call from God,” he said. “It is a vocation to a unique way of life."
He said Jesus makes it clear that vocations are a "call from God."
"Jesus reminds us, 'It was not you who chose me; it was I who chose you,'" the archbishop said.
Archbishop Aymond said Rizzo had spent nine years in prayer and spiritual direction before coming to the altar. "This was not something she rushed into," he said.
"The call to the consecrated life dates back to the time of the apostles,” he added. "Today through her promise and through the words of consecration, Elizabeth becomes the bride of Christ. She promises that she will be single-hearted and radically committed to him alone. Her human life, in a very special way, will point to Christ. And she will remind us that the true life that we seek is not here but rather in our home in heaven."
The archbishop said when Rizzo shows compassion to those with whom she works and to those whom she serves – the ones who may be losing their homes through foreclosure – she is doing Christ's work.
"Through the opportunity to enter into the darkness of people's lives, she sees Christ in the faces of those who are hopeless," he said. "She will assure them through her prayers that she will do whatever possible to help them when she extends the heart and compassion of Christ."
After the homily, Rizzo prostrated herself in front of the altar as the Litany of the Saints was intoned. She then knelt in front of the archbishop and placed her hands in his, a sign that she was placing her life in God's care. She stated her intent "to live in chastity as one espoused to Christ."
Archbishop Aymond then offered the prayer of consecration, presented her with a white veil, an ancient sign of spousal commitment as the virgin to Christ. She then received a ring – her late grandmother Marie's – as a sign that she is "the bride of Christ."
"You will wear that ring always as a sign of your commitment, and also it is a sign of God's commitment to you," Archbishop Aymond said. "As you make your promise today to God and to the church, at that very moment, God is speaking to your heart his promise to be faithful to you that you may continue to hear and to live the call

No comments:

Post a Comment