Churches of Latin America to Join Act of Consecration

‘So that the Holy People of God Raise a Unanimous and Heartfelt Supplication to his Mother’

Churches of Latin America
Pope Francis in Fátima, May of 2017 © Vatican Media

The local Churches of Latin America have responded to Pope Francis’ call for bishops, priests, religious and faithful from all over the world to join in community prayer on March 25, when he pronounces the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Russia and Ukraine in Saint Peter, “so that the holy People of God raise a unanimous and heartfelt supplication to his Mother”.

Celebrations are planned in the main Marian sanctuaries of the continent, as well as in parishes, churches, chapels, and families, reported Fides News Agency. Many of them will be broadcast on national radio and television stations and on social networks. Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos, President of the Latin American Episcopal Council (Celam) and of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, has released a video message in which he recalls how “since February 24 of this year we have been witnesses, through the various media, of a bloody war in Ukraine, where there are already thousands of dead and wounded, as well as more than three million refugees, who have had to seek protection in neighboring countries. Bishop Cabrejos recalls the words of Pope Francis about war and in favor of peace and underlines: “our hearts can only cry for the children, for the murdered women, for all the victims of war”, insisting that “the war is never the solution. Lastly, he reiterates that “our strength is in faith”, and invites on behalf of the bishops of Peru, “all brothers and people of goodwill, so that, in every church, parish, chapel, and home, we can join Pope Francis on March 25, to implore God for an end to this war”.

The Church of Bolivia will join the gesture of Pope Francis with the penitential celebration of Lent, which will take place in the Minor Basilica of San Francisco in the city of La Paz at 12:00 noon. Likewise, the different ecclesiastical jurisdictions of Bolivia will join in prayer in their parishes. The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) and the Apostolic Nunciature have scheduled a Eucharistic Celebration on March 25, at 7 in the morning, in the Chapel of Our Lady of Aparecida, in Brasilia, responding to the invitation of Pope Francis. The Auxiliary Bishop of Rio Janeiro and Secretary-General of the CNBB, Monsignor Joel Portella Amado, will preside over the celebration, which will be broadcast live on several television stations and on the CNBB’s social networks. The Paraguayan Episcopal Conference will join the Holy Father to “accompany this moment from the most important Marian Shrine in the country”, dedicated to the Virgin of Caacupé: the Act of Consecration will be broadcast through digital platforms and social media. The bishops underline: “We join the call made by Pope Francis to believers and non-believers in our country to join in prayer, each one from the place where they are, for peace and for the end of the war unleashed between two sister countries, Russia and Ukraine”.

Coinciding with the time of the Celebration in Rome, at 1:00 p.m., in the Basilica of Our Lady of Luján, the President of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, Monsignor Oscar Ojea, will preside over the Eucharistic celebration in which the gift of peace will be requested for these nations and for the whole world. The Shrines and dioceses of the country will join in the celebration of this fervent prayer for peace among peoples.

“This coming Friday the Pope from Rome and every bishop in his Cathedral, every Priest in his Parish, and I would also like to invite each one of you laypeople, as a family, to possibly unite between 7 and 8 in the evening, to do the consecration, the union of forces”, exhorted Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, Archbishop of Managua, Nicaragua. The Cardinal insisted on the fact that the Lord “does not turn a deaf ear, does not turn away from the realities we are living… What he asks of each one of us is that we can experience that conversion, that change”. The Presidency of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia is in Rome for some pastoral meetings, and the bishops will join the act of consecration presided over by Pope Francis. The same act, on the same day, will be presided over by Monsignor Luis Felipe Sánchez Aponte, Bishop of Chiquinquirá, who will celebrate Mass in the Shrine of this Marian city, which houses the image of the Patron Saint of Colombia. The Colombian Episcopate urges all Catholics to join the call of Pope Francis on this day in all corners of the country. The Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica will join this celebration of the universal Church from the National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels in Cartago. The act of consecration will be followed by the mass for peace. All parishes are invited to spiritually join the celebration, at the same time as the Pope (via the Internet or other means of communication).