Sister Anne Amati
Sister Anne Amati

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and the diocesan Office of Clergy and Consecrated Life will host a convocation for women and men sharing a vocation to Consecrated Life Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in St. Ann Church, 1253 Lawrenceville Rd., Lawrenceville.

The convocation will celebrate the Year of Mercy inaugurated by Pope Francis on Dec. 8, 2015 until Nov. 20, 20, 2016. All those serving in consecrated life from around the Diocese and their major superiors are invited to attend.

Highlights of the day will include reflections on Mercy by Franciscan Sister Anne Amati, Mass celebrated at 10:45 by Bishop O’Connell and a luncheon that will follow.

A native of Trenton, Sister Amati was born in St. Francis Hospital, Trenton, a facility sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. She is the only daughter of Polish and Italian parents, Thomas and Edna Dworzecka  Amati. Initially her family lived in East Trenton and later moved to Blessed Sacrament Parish (now Blessed Sacrament-Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd Parish), in West Trenton, where she met the Sisters of St. Francis again, this time as her teachers in the parish school. Following her 1960 graduation from Cathedral High School, Sister Anne entered the Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia Sept. 8, noting how “happy and really quite awed” she is to say that three years ago, she celebrated her golden jubilee of profession.

“God is really so faithful,” she said.

In the course of her Franciscan life, Sister Anne has ministered in education at elementary, secondary and college levels), health care and in retreat and facilitation ministry. In 1985, she served a term as the assistant provincial in the order’s then Trenton Province, and in 2008, she served as a general councilor for six years. She has since returned to retreat ministry.

At the Oct. 8 convocation, Sister Anne’s message will center on the theme, “Eyeing the World with Mercy,” and she will incorporate thoughts on the Year of Mercy, with the Year of Consecrated Life, which was observed during previous year’s theme “especially as Pope Francis urges those in consecrated life to ‘see life from the periphery’ if we are to look on the world with ‘merciful’ eyes.”

Sister Anne said she will also address Mercy found in Scripture and in Islam, as well as in poetry and art.

Through her reflections, Sister Anne said it is her hope “to convey the essential importance of religious being true to their calling,” despite aging, diminishing numbers, the prospect of congregations “dying out and religious life itself moving to the periphery of the Church and of society.”

“God remains faithful and the periphery is just where we need to be,” she said. The energy for mission carried out by religious “is still alive and well,” she said. The flame our mission, she said, is fanned by lives that are deep-rooted in Gospel living, being in right relationship with God, self, others and all of creation, “and all this sprinkled with a healthy sense of humor to keep us balanced,” she asserted.