Bishops of U.S., Canada will consecrate their nations to Mary May 1


By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has announced the U.S. bishops will join the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops May 1 in consecrating the two nations to the care of the Blessed Mother under the title “Mary, Mother of the Church.”

“This will give the church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus,” said Archbishop Gomez in a letter to the U.S. bishops. Each year, the church seeks the special intercession of the Mother of God during the month of May.

“This year, we seek the assistance of Our Lady all the more earnestly as we face together the effects of the global pandemic,” he said.

Archbishop Gomez will lead the prayer of reconsecration May 1 at 3 p.m. (EDT) and has invited the bishops to join in from their respective dioceses and asked them to extend the invitation to the faithful in their dioceses for their participation. A guide to praying the liturgy at home is available at www.archlou.org/Covid-19. This guide can also be used to consecrate one’s home to Mary.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz released a video April 28, encouraging the faithful to participate.

“It’s an opportunity for all of us to gather together as one nation … for a rededication to our Blessed Mother,” he said in the video circulated on social media. “What a wonderful occasion for us to be in solidarity, to join in prayer for the safety of all — praying for the healing of those who’ve contracted the disease, praying for those who’ve died and for their loved ones who grieve them, and praying for all who in these days lie in fear.”

While reminding his listeners that Catholic Social Teaching emphasizes the common good, he also said,  “We pray also that the restrictions of our practice of the sacraments will be lifted as soon as possible.”

The May 1 consecration reaffirms the bishops’ previous consecrations of the United States to Mary. In 1792, the first bishop of the United States, Bishop John Carroll, consecrated the nation to Mary under the title Immaculate Conception, and in 1846, the bishops unanimously chose Mary under that title as the patroness of the nation.

In 1959, Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle of Washington again consecrated the United States to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the year when the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington was completed.

The May 1 reconsecration follows the Latin American bishops’ council, which consecrated Latin America and the Caribbean to Our Lady of Guadalupe on Easter. The liturgy will be live streamed at https://www.usccb.org/consecration.

A statue of Mary behind St. Agnes Church on Newburg Road held a bouquet April 27. The U.S. and Canadian bishops announced April 23 they will consecrate their nations to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic May 1. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)
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