A Message from the IRL National Director
Fr. Thomas Nelson, O.Praem.
The INSTITUTE ON RELIGIOUS LIFE has served the Church forty years. It was founded after the Second Vatican Council to help guide religious communities in the process of renewal called for by the Council Fathers. The IRL has always remained closely aligned to the Pope and Bishops, the official pastors of the Church, whom Christ established to teach, lead and sanctify the Church. This fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church has made the IRL a source of light and stability for many communities as they implemented the changes mandated by the Council. In this way it has served well the Church and religious life.
An entire generation has passed since Vatican II. The days of change and experimentation are over. Constitutions have been renewed and updated. The external elements of religious life have been adapted to meet the needs of modern times. Now is the time to enter more deeply into the interior reality of consecrated life.
Christ's call to interior renewal and change (i.e., metanoia) is always present in every age and time. This is what the Church calls us to as we enter into a new Christian millennium. Religious must lead the way in answering the Church's universal call to holiness.
Religious life is essentially a life of interior conversion and transformation into Christ by means of the evangelical counsels. This puts religious in the heart of the Church animating her life of love, service and worship. And this is why religious life is essential to the life of the Church and why every Catholic, not only clergy and religious, should support and promote religious life.
I am a Norbertine priest from St. Michael's Abbey in Silverado, California. Being a religious and priest, a superior and former novice master, I have a great appreciation for the mystery of religious life and am thankful to God for my vocation as a priest and religious.
I believe the IRL has had a positive influence on religious life in this country and I believe that it will continue to do so in the future
We ask for your prayers and support. I would like to invite you to become a member of the IRL if you are not one already. In this way you will participate in our mission to promote and support the gift of consecrated life.
Sincerely Yours in Christ Jesus,
Fr. Thomas Nelson, O.Praem.
IRL Board of Directors
Most Rev. Robert F. Vasa, Bishop of Santa Rosa / IRL President
Mother Marie Julie Saegaert, S.C.M.C./ IRL Executive Vice President
Paul Doetsch, Treasurer
Frederick R. Dempsey, Secretary
Sr. Beth Ann Dillon, D.S.M.P.
Sr. Mary Clare Eichman, O.S.F.
Rev. James Isaacson, S.J.C.
Jeffrey J. Karls
Rev. Bob Lombardo, C.F.R.
Sr. Rose Therese Mann, O.S.F.
Rev. Robert McDermott
Rev. David Meconi, S.J.
Abbot Austin Murphy, O.S.B.