My Brothers and Sisters,
The difficulties and challenges of these days have also been accompanied by many blessings and opportunities for us to grow in faith. I have heard many beautiful stories about many of you and how your homes are becoming places where Jesus is truly welcomed, celebrated, served and present. I am trying to do the same in my own home too as we all look forward to gathering together to celebrate and receive the TRUE PRESENCE. Under the leadership of Archbishop Jose Gomez, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), all of us bishops are being asked to re-consecrate our beautiful and hurting country to the care of Mary, Mother of God.
Some of you might know that our country was consecrated to the Virgin Mary a long time ago. In fact, at the 6th Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1846, the bishops of the United States unanimously chose our Blessed Mother to be the Patroness of the whole country under the title of the Immaculate Conception. What a beautiful teaching! That the heavenly Father prepared Mary to be the Mother of his Son from the very first moment of her earthly life in her mother’s womb! The Second Vatican Council taught beautifully about this gift when it wrote, “Enriched from the first instant of her conception with the splendor of an entirely unique holiness, the virgin from Nazareth is hailed by her heralding angel, as ‘full of grace’ (Luke 1:28) and to the heavenly messenger she replies: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your word’ (Luke 1:38)” (Lumen Gentium, 56). Years later, when St. John Paul II made his first Pastoral Visit to the United States in 1979, he too entrusted the United States to the protection of the Blessed Mother. At the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception he said, “May the hope enclosed in this mystery prevail over sin and may it be shared among all the sons and daughters of America and throughout the human family. In a period during which the struggle between good and evil, between the prince of darkness and the Father of Light and of evangelical love is becoming greater, may the light of your Immaculate Conception show to all the way of grace and salvation. Amen.”
My brothers and sisters as St. John Paul reminded us, we still struggle with all kinds of issues. Now we find ourselves still in a period of struggle with the pandemic. Please join me and all the bishops of the United States in re-consecrating ourselves and our nation to Mary under her beautiful title ‘Mother of the Church’. Archbishop Gomez will be leading this prayer of re-consecration on Friday, May 1, 2020, at 12 p.m. PDT. Our communications staff will be helping us to participate through various social media platforms. Please do share in this beautiful prayer.
God bless you, always and all ways.