July 8, 2014 // Local

Faithful encouraged to join in preparation for Marian consecration

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades has recently announced that he will renew the consecration of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to the Blessed Mother during the 6 p.m. Mass on Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption of Mary, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne. The Mass will be followed by a Marian procession, organized by the Knights of Columbus, from the cathedral to Headwaters Park, which will mark the beginning of the third annual summer Festival of Faith.

The bishop has invited all to join him and many others in the consecration to Jesus through Mary and proposes following the 33 days of preparation written by Father Michael Gaitley, a priest with the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. The guidebook, entitled “33 Days to Morning Glory,” includes prayers and meditations for each day, using the writings of St. Louis Marie de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and St. John Paul II, who were all deeply devoted to Mary.

St. Louis Marie de Montfort set forth the traditional method of Marian consecration, which seeks a deeper union with both Jesus and Mary for those who participate.

In a recent interview, Father Gaitley explained, “St. Louis was the first to take all the threads of Marian consecration, popularize them and synthesize them. The way I look at it, ‘33 Days to Morning Glory’ is written in the same spirit, meant to combine and promote the main streams of Marian devotion that have come since St. Louis’ model. The way it is written also provides an easier to use and updated version from the traditional method.”

The book is to be read a few pages each day, which “allows for deeper reflection as you ponder the teachings of the saints, leading you to formally acknowledging and accepting Mary as your spiritual Mother,” said Father Gaitley, adding that the consecration may be done individually or as part of a group. As a guide to make the consecration the Hearts Afire program offers a DVD set, retreat companion guide and group discussion manual for group use.

Father Gaitley explains the purpose of making a Marian consecration: ““Mary brings us to a personal relationship with Jesus, Jesus then brings us to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and the Trinity in turn brings us closer to others. Transforming community with Christ is our goal, because when we enter into deeper intimacy with Christ we take on His heart and His thirst for souls.”

In a specially produced video about the consecration found at www.diocesefwsb.org, Bishop Rhoades shares his earliest recollections of his grandmother’s and mother’s devotion to the Blessed Mother and how he first learned about consecration to Jesus through Mary as a seminarian with the prayers developed by St. Louis Marie de Montfort.

The consecration, the bishop says, “helps us to live our Baptismal consecration. By entrusting ourselves to her she helps us as our loving mother. She encourages us even in suffering to have faith and hope in her Son.” He continues, “We are entrusting ourselves to her so as to be faithful to God, faithful to our baptismal vows on our journey to heaven.”

Four weekly podcasts on the consecration to Jesus through Mary by Bishop Rhoades will be available at www. todayscatholicnews.org and www.diocesefwsb.org.

In hopes of joining Bishop Rhoades in inviting others to participate in the consecration Franciscan Father David Mary Engo spoke at the Theology on Tap Catholic Young adult event in Fort Wayne on June 19 on Marian devotions and the 33-day spiritual renewal process explored in “33 Days of Morning Glory” by Father Gaitley. Father Engo will introduce the “33 Days of Morning Glory” devotional on July 12, at 7 p.m. at the social hall of St. Therese Little Flower Parish in South Bend as well.

To complete the 33 days of preparation participants will begin on July 13 to be ready for the consecration on Aug. 15. Individuals and parishes are invited to participate in the consecration in a way that best suits their needs and may include meeting once a week for six weeks as a small faith group to watch Father Gaitley’s DVD and discuss the daily readings with the aid of a companion manual, meeting as a group without the companion manual, or reading and pondering the daily meditations individually. Those who wish to participate may contact their parish to see if it is providing the group format or if they will participate on their own. To participate individually contact Marian specialist, Ida List, [email protected] or at 574-453-3143 (evenings) or 574-376-0046 (cell) for questions and to order a book.

Those unable to attend the Mass and rededication on Aug. 15 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception may watch a live video stream of the Mass on computer at www.diocesefwsb.org or listen to the live broadcast on Redeemer Radio 106.3 FM.

To find out more information on the Total Consecration to Mary, visit www.diocesefwsb.org/special-ministries.

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