In a letter to the Priests, Deacons, Religious Educators, Pastoral Leaders and Faithful of the Diocese of Peoria, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky specifically suggests that parishes, schools, and families consider a 30-day Marian Consecration as outlined in a book by Father Michael Gaitly, MIC. The Bishop is making the book, "33 Days to Morning Glory," available free of charge to parishes and schools while supplies last. This offering is done through the generosity of a donor.
Many parishes in the Peoria Diocese have run the six-week "33 Days to Morning Glory" retreat and have witnessed the bonding Catholics experience when they share their journey with each other and support, pray for, and encourage each other along the way! The beauty of the simplicity of running a "33 Days" retreat at the parish level and the ASTONISHING fruit that results from such fellowship and entrustment to Our Lady are leading parishes all over the country to encorporate the Hearts Afire Parish-based Programs for the New Evangelization into their ministries. What a blessing to have such an amazing shepherd as Bishop Jenky encourage his parishes to do just that.
Please post this article on your FaceBook and blogs and help spread the flame that is igniting hearts for Christ in this wonderful New Evangelization! Help usher in a new Pentecost.... for wherever Mary is, there too is her Spouse, the Holy Spirit, and He will hasten evangelization!
Following is the full text of Bishop Jenky's letter:
To the Priests, Deacons, Religious Educators, Pastoral Leaders and Faithful of the Diocese of Peoria:
My Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I hope that over my 10 years as your bishop, my love for Our Lady, as has yours, has been abundantly clear: I have convoked a number of Rosary Congresses, declared a Year of the Rosary, dedicated a Festival Letter to our Lady as well as countless homilies and talks, I asked that her image as our Mother of Perpetual Help be enshrined in our parishes and schools, even as I re-consecrated our entire diocese to her patronage when I solemnly enthroned her icon in our Cathedral.
I again turn to her and I ask you to do the same.
It has never been easy to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. In fact, our Savior warns that the world will hate us if we love Him. The attacks of this world, the flesh and devil seem particularly ferocious in this current moment. Several months ago, I asked that we not lose sight of the spiritual nature of this battle when I directed that the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel should be invoked at every Sunday Mass for the protection of the Catholic Church in America. I now ask us to re-double our spiritual efforts through devotion to the Blessed Virgin.
The Immaculate Mother of God is the Patroness of the United States and our own Local Church. The Pope has personally consecrated the world to her protection, and that invocation has been renewed by the bishops of our country, as I have done as well for our diocese following the example of Archbishop Schlarman. I encourage each of our parishes, schools, and families to consider a similar devotion to Our Lady. We turn to her to protect our country, to guide our leaders, and to turn our hearts to her Son.
There are many ways to grow in devotion to our Lady. The scriptural meditation of the Rosary is perhaps the finest. Likewise, there are many methods of Marian Consecration. Through a generous donor, I am happy to make available copies of “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Father Michael Gaitly, MIC, to our parishes, schools, CCD and adult education programs. These books are free but supplies are limited and are available “first come.” I have asked the sisters in the diocesan museum and the Sheen Foundation to coordinate distribution. You may pick up the books anytime during office hours after Aug. 16. The traditional 30-day consecration could very appropriately begin in our schools and families in early September in order to culminate on the Feast of the Holy Rosary on Oct. 5.
But no matter what book or formula may be used, I feel it very important that we turn to our Lady to help us and our country during these coming months. We can take comfort that her Immaculate Heart will triumph!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC
Bishop of Peoria
Originally posted in The Catholic Post: The Newspaper of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois