In 1996 Saint John Paul II called bishops to Rome to reflect on the beauty and challenges of the Consecrated Life like Pope Francis did last year when he invited bishops to Rome to reflect on the beauty and challenges of families. As the conclusion of the series of meetings in 1996 Saint John Paul II wrote a letter to the Catholic Church Vita Consecrata (Consecrated Life). In his letter he voiced questions people ask when they see monasteries, convents, nuns, religious brothers or religious priests: “Many people today are puzzled and ask: What is the point of the consecrated life? Why embrace this kind of life, when there are so many urgent needs in the areas of charity and of evangelization itself, to which one can respond even without assuming the particular commitments of the consecrated life? Is the consecrated life not a kind of "waste" of human energies which might be used more efficiently for a greater good, for the benefit of humanity and the Church?” To answer these big question the Holy Father recalled some words of a great saint: Teresa of Avila, by the way this year we celebrate 500 years since her birth. St Teresa who was a Carmelite nun once wrote: “"What would become of the world if there were no Religious?"
The Church can in no way renounce the consecrated life, for it eloquently expresses her inmost nature as "Bride".”