In the message of the Conference of Religious Major Superiors of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, its president Franciscan Friar Michael Raymond, explained that the World Day for Consecrated Life was inaugurated by Pope John Paul II in 1997 on Feb 2, which is the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. 

The pope's wish was that "we would thank God for the gift of consecrated life, that a knowledge of and esteem for consecrated life would be promoted by the entire people of God, and that consecrated persons would celebrate together solemnly the marvels which the Lord has accomplished in them".

The message reminded all religious of the vision proposed by the Second Vatican Council, which "set before us a direction of participation in decision-making, of discernment, of involvement in the pain of the world, and the struggles of our time, of personal adult development, and encouraged the growth of the spiritual person, of courage, of commitment to act, as a leaven and to be prophetic".

The message also outlined the challenges to religious communities today. These challenges are summarized below:

- To speak for the weak and to offer constructive proposals for those close to the margins of society.

- To work together with the local church, with their lay partners in mission and with groups sharing the same concern to offer support and solidarity to those hardest hit by catastrophe.

- To develop the contemplative dimension of every congregation, and not sacrifice this dimension for action.

- To speak and act in solidarity at all times and in all places for those at most risk, so that God's message of love can be proclaimed and become a reality.

- To provide spiritual formation, and to be willing to consider new forms of membership.

- To be a bearer of hope and peace wherever we and our communities are.

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