June 4, 2013 // Local

Sacred Heart Parish embarks on Marian consecration

WARSAW — A group of Sacred Heart parishioners in Warsaw will gather on June 8 to hold a Marian consecration at their church, which marks the culmination of an exciting new six-week small-group retreat venture offered by Lighthouse Catholic Media, distributor of Catholic CDs, books, prayer cards and more in kiosks in churches across the nation.

“33 Days to Morning Glory” is a parish-based consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, based on Marians of the Immaculate Conception (MIC) Father Michael Gaitley’s book of the same title. The program is phase one of a three-part evangelization initiative launched in 2012 called Hearts Afire, “a small-group, parish-based, faith renewal program inspired by Blessed John Paul II’s call to a New Evangelization.”

There is a fee of $33 for the retreat materials and the proceeds go to help the Marians of the Immaculate Conception seminarian formation.

“33 Days to Morning Glory” offers a remarkable 33-day journey to consecration to Jesus through Mary with the inspiration of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Blessed Pope John Paul II. The “33 Days to Morning Glory” book summarizes these spiritual leaders’ teachings, and with the companion DVD presentation by Father Gaitley and group discussion participants are inspired to live their faith more fully in everyday situations.

Ida List, youth minister at Sacred Heart Parish and coordinator of the retreat program there, says, “The purpose of this retreat is to lead us to formally entrust ourselves to Mary. One can do the 33-day consecration on their own. However, the idea with this model, is to bring together groups within a parish to share their journey of reading, pondering what they have read, sharing it in a small group situation and then watching a short video on the particular saint or blessed whose work they had just read about. It is a wonderful parish-based program for the New Evangelization.”

The group of 17 Sacred Heart parishioners began their weekly 90-minute meetings on May 8 at Sacred Heart Church where pastor Father Phil DeVolder approved the retreat, blessing the groups’ rosaries and Miraculous Medals.

List sees the program as an inspired opportunity for community growth with the diversity of the people who join. “We have a mixture of men and women, which range in age from 24 to 77,” she says, adding, “Many of us are CRHP grads so this has been a great way to continue to grow in faith together! Also as many as possible gather at the first Saturday Mass and then stay to pray a rosary cenacle, sometimes followed by brunch. We are also working on a “field trip” to the Passion of Christ at St. John, Ind., the end of June.”

The diverse group at Sacred Heart will have another opportunity to grow more fully in entrusting themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Blessed Mother by moving on to the second phase of the program called “Consoling the Heart of Jesus,” a 10-week retreat on Divine Mercy. But for now they are excited to be attending the Mass on June 8 to read the Consecration Prayer as a group. Father DeVolder will offer a special blessing for the group and sign their certificates after Mass.

Two more “33 Days to Morning Glory” retreats are already in the planning stages at Sacred Heart. The first will begin July 13 with the consecration date of Aug. 15. The second begins in November.

As coordinator at Sacred Heart Church, List is willing to assist other parishes engage in this program. She says, “Lighthouse Catholic Media has joined a partnership with the MIC’s to help promote this Consecration to Jesus through Mary. I am what they call the Servant Leader for this area and am happy to field questions or help other groups get started. Lighthouse is offering some additional free items when groups order through us. The program can be done in a home setting depending on the size of the group.”

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