By The Message Staff
Bishop Joseph M. Siegel joined Pope Francis and brother bishops across the world in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during a March 25 service at St. Benedict Cathedral in Evansville. Bishop Siegel invited priests across the diocese to participate in the consecration in their parishes at 11 a.m. CDT/Noon EDT. The cathedral service was live-streamed on the diocesan YouTube channel and the St. Benedict Cathedral Facebook page.
Celebrated on the Feast of the Annunciation, the service opened with “Immaculate Mary” as the processional. Cathedral Rector Benedictine Father Godfrey Mullen served as cantor. Bishop Siegel then led the praying of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.
After the rosary, Father Godfrey led the chanting of the Litany of Loreto. Bishop Siegel then offered the Consecration and blessed the dozens of faithful in attendance. The service concluded with “Alma Redemptoris Mater.”
The concluding paragraphs of the Prayer of Consecration follow:
“At this hour, a weary and distraught humanity stands with you beneath the cross, needing to entrust itself to you and, through you, to consecrate itself to Christ. The people of Ukraine and Russia, who venerate you with great love, now turn to you, even as your heart beats with compassion for them and for all those peoples decimated by war, hunger, injustice and poverty.
“Therefore, Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine. Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love. Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world. The “Fiat” that arose from your heart opened the doors of history to the Prince of Peace. We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more. To you we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world.
“Through your intercession, may God’s mercy be poured out on the earth and the gentle rhythm of peace return to mark our days. Our Lady of the “Fiat”, on whom the Holy Spirit descended, restore among us the harmony that comes from God. May you, our “’living fountain of hope,’ water the dryness of our hearts. In your womb Jesus took flesh; help us to foster the growth of communion. You once trod the streets of our world; lead us now on the paths of peace. Amen.”