Pope Francis announced that the year 2015 will be dedicated to consecrated life, as he met with the Union of Superiors General.
Instead of a planned speech and short meeting, Pope Francis chose to have a three-hour question and answer session with the 120 leaders of the Catholic men's religious congregations.
During the session, the superiors general and the Pope spoke about how religious congregations enrich diocesan life. He encouraged members to go out to "frontiers,” working first and foremost with people excluded from society.
But he stressed the importance of dialogue with local communities to better adapt the Church's teachings into their ways of life.
When it came to formation of religious members, the Pope said to avoid hypocrisy and clericalism, to develop "a tender heart.”
During the three-hour session, the Pope took a break with hot sip of mate.
-You share it.
-I'd like one.
Upon his return, he continues answering their questions, and near the end he announced 2015 would be dedicated to them. He also thanked them for their faith and service.
"Please pray for me. I need it.”