Rockford, Ill. Bishop Joins Cardinal George in Consecration to Mary
By Matt Abbott
On Dec. 8, 2004, the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX's solemn proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Thomas Doran of the Diocese of Rockford, Ill. will consecrate his diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In doing so, Bishop Doran joins Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., archbishop of Chicago, who in August announced that he will consecrate his archdiocese to Mary on the same day.
Father Charles Becker, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago who directs a series of Marian prayer groups, is excited about the upcoming consecrations. "We need the protection and direction of the Blessed Mother in these tumultuous times," says Becker.
Cardinal George will do the consecration after the 5:15 p.m. Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago.
According to "The Observer," the official newspaper for the Diocese of Rockford:
"...Bishop Doran will celebrate a holy day Mass at 8:30 a.m. on [Dec. 8] at the Cathedral of St. Peter.
"In mid-November, Bishop Doran sent a letter to all diocesan priests asking them to consecrate their parishes to Mary and ask all parishioners to do so individually.
"The following is the prayer of consecration to be used for this purpose:
"O Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven, You chose Mary as the fairest of Your daughters; Holy Spirit, You chose Mary as Your spouse; God the Son, You chose Mary as Your Mother; in union with Mary, we adore Your majesty and acknowledge Your supreme, eternal dominion and authority. Most Holy Trinity, we place the Diocese of Rockford into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present this diocese to You.
"Immaculate Queen of Heaven and Earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother Mary, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. We humbly cast ourselves at your feet, consecrating to your Immaculate Heart all peoples and parishes of the Diocese of Rockford. Protect the bishop of this diocese and all his priests. Protect the families of this diocese. Draw forth the precious gift of many vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Look after sinners, the sick, the poor, the tempted and upon all who are in need of your intercession.
"O Mary, Immaculate Virgin, in this year of the Eucharist, proclaimed by Pope John Paul II, we ask that you draw all of us closer to your Son's Eucharistic Heart. Let all of us be fit instruments in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing God's glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls. Help us extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
"O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you!"
Matt Abbott - Author,
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