April 28, 2020

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

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CNS Photo / Paul Haring

CNS Photo / Paul Haring

WASHINGTON (CNS)—As the world continues to face the ongoing effects of the global coronavirus pandemic, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has announced the U.S. bishops will join the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on May 1 in consecrating the two nations to the care of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title “Mary, Mother of the Church.”

Archbishop Gomez will lead the prayer of reconsecration at 3 p.m. (EDT) on May 1, and has invited the bishops to join in from their respective dioceses, asking them to extend the invitation to the faithful in their dioceses for their participation.

Indianapolis Archbishop Charles C. Thompson is encouraging Catholics in central and southern Indiana to take part in the consecration.

The consecration can be viewed and prayed with at the USCCB’s website usccb.org, and on the USCCB’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. EWTN will air the gathering from Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in Los Angeles. The event will also be aired live on EWTN’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ewtnonline.

Archbishop Gomez will lead a brief liturgy with a prayer of reconsecration. A liturgy guide will be available on usccb.org to assist the faithful watching online and on social media platforms.
“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 added.

This 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 of the country unanimously chose Mary under that title as the patroness of the nation.

In 1959, Cardinal Patrick A. O’Boyle, archbishop of Washington, again consecrated the United States to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This was the year when construction of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington was completed. The national shrine was elevated to minor basilica status by St. John Paul ll on Oct. 12, 1990. This consecration was renewed by the U.S. bishops on Nov. 11, 2006.

This latest consecration follows the Latin American bishops’ council, which consecrated Latin America and the Caribbean to Our Lady of Guadalupe on Easter. †

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