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Archives Bishop to Consecrate Diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Oct. 11, 2017

By Father Bryan Stitt
Diocesan director, Office of Worship

How we love our mothers!  They have seen us at our best and at our worst.  We can relate our triumphs to them without fear of being thought boastful and share our frustrations without sounding like whiners. 

On October 22 Bishop LaValley and the whole diocese is honoring our Blessed Mother in appreciation of her maternal love.  As you’ve already heard, on that day, Bishop LaValley will consecrate the North Country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Prompted by the request of our Lady to the children in Fatima, Pope Pius XII first consecrated Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart in 1952.  Thirty years later, Pope Saint John Paul II did so for the entire world.  2017 is the year for the Diocese of Ogdensburg. 

Why now? 

First it is to honor Our Lady’s appearance and miracles in Fatima, Portugal 100 years ago.  How many of us grew up with the story of the “Day the Sun Danced” witnessed by tens of thousands of people who stood in the mud turned into dry land?  That was October 13, 1917.

Thirty-five years and nine days later, our beloved Cathedral of St. Mary was consecrated.  This year’s consecration marks these two anniversaries honoring Our Lady. 

How do we participate? 

Mark your calendar. October 22nd will be the day of the consecration of the Diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  There will be a 2 p.m. Rosary Rally before a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the Cathedral.  At 2:30 p.m. Mass will be offered with the prayer of consecration of the diocese included. 

If you can’t be there in person, you can surely be there in spirit praying for the church.

Learn more about Fatima.  Have you seen 13th Day, the 2009 dramatic re-telling of the Story of Fatima through the memories of Sr. Lucia?  Consider showing it at your parish. 

There is also the classic version - the 1952 film The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima, as well as numerous books and vignettes on YouTube.

(There will be a showing of 13th Day at the Cathedral on October 13 hosted by the Legion of Mary in Ogdensburg to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. Join them at St. Mary's Cathedral at 6:00 p.m. to pray the Rosary, followed by a presentation of the film.  For more information contact the parish office at 315-393-3930.)

Send prayer requests to Bishop LaValley.  The bishop will include them in his prayer of Consecration to our Blessed Mother. 

All intentions can be sent to The Bishop’s Office, P.O. Box 369, Ogdensburg, NY 13669

Join the Novena. The nine days from October 13th (the 100th anniversary of the Fatima Miracle of the Sun) to October 22nd (the 65th anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral) allows for a perfect nine-day novena. 

Please join Bishop LaValley in the prayer found at right on this page.

Love your mother.  She’s been with you through thick and thin.  She gives us the best of all examples.  And she’ll see us through this valley of tears. 

What is a novena?

A novena is a prayer that lasts for a period of nine hours, days, or months.  What is essential in the number nine.  The word novena comes from the Latin word for nine -novem.  

Why nine? 

Well, our Lord rose from the dead on a Sunday.  He ascended into heaven 40 days later on a Thursday.  For nine days the apostles and Mary, the Mother of God, gathered in the upper room and were united in prayer.
On the 10th day, after nine days of prayer in the upper room, the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, descended upon them on the feast of Pentecost, which was a Sunday.

Check it out in the Bible: Jesus spends 40 days with the apostles-Acts 1:3.  Jesus Ascended into heaven-Acts 1:9, Luke 24:51, Mark 16:19.  Apostles gather in the upper room-Acts 1:13-14.  Pentecost-Acts 2:1-13
The above scripture references point to the traditional prayer called a novena.  When we pray a novena we do what the remaining 11 apostles did.  We do what the Mother of God did.  We do what the Church has been doing for 2,000 years - praying fervently for an outpouring of God’s grace. 

A novena can be done in various ways.  You can pray a novena prayer every nine consecutive hours, days, or months. 

It does not matter how or what is prayed, it is not magic; just a form of prayer rooted in the scriptures and tradition of the Church. 

Friday, October 13 will be the start of the novena ending on Sunday, October 22.  We will be praying it in honor of the Our Lady of Fatima.

As the Church around the world honors our Blessed Mother on the 100th Anniversary of her appearance in Fatima, Portugal, here in the Diocese of Ogdensburg we will have a Rosary Rally and Holy Mass with Bishop LaValley at the Cathedral. 

The 2:00 Rosary and 2:30 Mass will be on Sunday, October 22nd.  Please keep praying for our parish, our Bishop, and each of our intentions as celebrate the many blessings God has bestowed upon us here in the Diocese of Ogdensburg.


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