Christopher Lushis
Freelance Writer
December 16, 2017 // Diocese

Individuals consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary at ND Mass

Christopher Lushis
Freelance Writer

“Behold your mother!” These words spoken by Jesus to the beloved disciple at the cross became a living reality on Dec. 7 for members of the University of Notre Dame’s Militia Immaculata, as nearly 30 men and women consecrated themselves to Jesus through Mary during a special Vigil Mass commemorating Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

The Mass, celebrated by Holy Cross Father Gregory Haake, signified the culmination of 33 days of preparation for becoming consecrated to Jesus through Mary. While the traditional formula of Marian Consecration was developed by St. Louis de Montfort, students were invited to use the more recent and widely popular book “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, for their preparation. The book incorporates de Montfort’s Marian teaching with contemporary saints, including St. Mother Theresa of Kolkata, St. John Paul II, and St. Maximillian Koble, the founder and patron of the Militia Immaculata.

In his homily, Father Haake recounted the importance, significance, and profound reality of undertaking such a consecration. “In making this consecration you say yes to graces which God offers through Mary, but you also say yes to the many type of trials, sufferings, and crosses that were present in Mary’s life.” He continued, “People have often come to me through the years and told me they were doing the total consecration. And I always say to them: “That’s wonderful, but that’s also dangerous.” I say it is dangerous because of that “yes”. Because if you look and examine Mary’s life, that is what you are saying yes to. It is a glory of glories, but it is also disappointment and suffering — but we do it joyfully, because it is for the Lord. But what gets us through is Mary’s example and the way in which she so wonderfully and gracefully endured it. She did so with hope. It allows us even in the darkest moments to continue to hope in Our Lord Jesus Christ, her Son.”

Students from Saint Mary’s College, the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College stand together in Notre Dame’s Alumni Hall Chapel after being consecrated to Jesus through Mary at the Vigil Mass of the Immaculate Conception on the evening of Dec. 7. — Chris Lushis

Recounting Mary’s role in salvation history, Father Haake further indicated, “Your total consecration today is another hit, another strike at the serpent’s head, it’s another moment where you take down a brick in the worldly edifice that attempts to set itself up against the edifice of the Church. Your total consecration is in your own little way your effort at reversing Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden. Of course, Jesus did that for us. But it is our little weak, feeble, yet joyful contribution. It is where we say, ‘I understand what Adam and Eve have done, I understand how they have set themselves up as rivals to God and along with Mary, who reversed that sin in the garden, I join with her, and I put my lot in with the Lord. I love God with all my mind, soul, and strength, and I give everything, all that I am, all that I do, and all that I say to Him.’ He goes before us, guiding us, comforting us. And so does His Mother, who continues to pray for us. And this day you receive her protection. Be not afraid!”

After the homily, participants were invited to renew their baptismal promises and recite a prayer of consecration composed by St. Maximillian Kolbe. One by one, each newly consecrated (or re-consecrated) individual was then invested with a blessed Miraculous Medal, worn as an external sign of their internal commitment to Our Lady and reliance on her protection.

In acknowledging the significance of the event, NDMI President Nicole O’Leary expressed her joy at seeing fellow students embrace such a commitment. She expressed, “We have the privilege of witnessing as students experience Mary’s powerful, maternal intercession in their lives. Like any encounter with grace, experiencing Our Lady’s love prompts a response of love. Total consecration — in other words, self-gift — is their response. Marian devotion among students is a channel of grace and a wellspring from which the lives of countless individuals and the university community as a whole are blessed.”

The mission and goal of the NDMI is “to lead every individual with Mary to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus by continuing Father Sorin’s vision for Notre Dame, who dreamed of building a great university in honor of Our Lady and her special relationship to Christ.” The organization includes students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, and Holy Cross College who meet weekly to discuss issues of faith, and also coordinate the distribution rosaries and Miraculous Medals on football weekends, host presentations by major Catholic speakers, offer various retreats, lead service projects, and organize extended hours of eucharistic adoration on campus.

This mission is undertaken with a specific focus on the life and work of St. Maximilian Kolbe, who in his devotion to Mary sought to become ever more conformed to her example and to embody her life of sacrifice and union with Our Lord in his own.

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