Preparing for Consecration of Parishes, Diocese Print this post

Staff Report – Florida Catholic

11/22/17

This Advent, the Diocese is called to come together to participate in a Diocesewide total consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, following the structure created in “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Father Michael Gaitley.

In this Advent Season, which falls in the year of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, the faithful of the Diocese prepare to welcome Jesus the way that He came: through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus, we embark on the “Diocesan Advent Journey to Jesus through Mary.”

Logo for the “Diocesan Advent Journey to Jesus through Mary” will begin Nov. 21 and will culminate with the consecration itself in the parishes during the Liturgy on the fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 24.

Due to the shortness of this Advent Season, consecration preparation began on Nov. 21 and will culminate with the consecration itself during the Liturgy on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, Dec. 24. Bishop Frank J. Dewane will also consecrate the Diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during the 11 a.m. Mass at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

By this Act of Consecration, the faithful will confide the Diocese and all of its good works to Our Lady in order to fulfill more readily the will of her Divine Son for His Church, Bishop Dewane explained.

The shortened nature of Advent, Dec 3-24, necessitated beginning the consecration process on Nov. 21. While “33 Days” book can be used by individuals, the parishes were encouraged to form prayer groups to work together in preparing for the consecration. Several dozen parishes will be doing the full parish-wide program, while others have opted to apply the program on a smaller scale.

“Advent is an important time of preparation and reflection as we await Jesus,” Joshua Mazrin, Director of the Diocese Office of Evangelization said. “Through this program, we invite Jesus into our hearts through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and consecrate ourselves to Jesus through her. This is very exciting time and important moment for parishes and the Diocese.”

To support this effort, the Office of Evangelization sent Marian Advent reflections following the structure found in “33 Days to Morning Glory.” Each reflection focuses on a particular Marian Saint: St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and St. John Paul II and their insights on Marian Consecration tied into the Advent Season.

“These saints developed a special devotion to Mary and her connection to Jesus Christ,” Mazrin explained. “It is appropriate to follow their example.”

St. Louis de Montfort was so moved by Mary’s special place in the story of salvation that he dedicated himself to the promotion of Marian devotion with the knowledge that if anyone desires to come to Christ, they must go through His Mother.

“It is through the most Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world, and it is also through her that he will reign in the world,” St. Louis de Montfort wrote in the “True Devotion to Mary.”

St. Maximilian Kolbe wrote on the Immaculata, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his entire life permeated with a deep love for the Blessed Mother. To her he gave everything, which led him to say, “rest confidently assured that whoever belongs to Her will not be lost.” 

While St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maximilian Kolbe show us deeply the theological significance for dependence on the Mother of God, St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta shows us these truths in simplicity through her life of love.  St. Mother Teresa always entrusted her prayers and mission to Our Blessed Lady, knowing that only through Mary could she truly love and serve Jesus.

The entrustment of one’s life to Mary, which St. Pope John Paul II beautifully describes as taking her “into one’s own home,” should be understood as our following Christ’s example.

As the Advent Season draws to a close and the final preparations are made for Christmas, we are called to imitate Christ by entrusting ourselves to the Immaculata, the Mater Misericordia, or “Mother of Mercy.” 

A number of resources are being provided to help parishes plan and prepare for this consecration, including video reflections, Marian reflections and more. Prayers, teachings and reflections will also be provided to Directors of Religious Education as well as to Youth and Young Adult Directors. These materials will also be made available online at the Evangelization webpage at www.dioceseofvenice.org/evangelization. The faithful are encouraged to visit this site often between now and Dec. 24 as items will be frequently updated.

For more information please contact Joshua Mazrin at mazrin@dioceseofvenice.org or 941-484-9543 ext. 3104.

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