LAKE CHARLES — The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop of the Diocese of Lake Charles, joined Archbishop José H. Gomez, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on May 1, in renewing the Consecration of the United States to Mary, Mother of the Church. U.S. bishops also joined bishops and faithful in Canada as they consecrated their country to Mary.
This moment of unified prayer gave our Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the sick, and wisdom for those who work to cure COVID-19.
Faithful in the Diocese of Lake Charles can view the consecration through various social media platforms: www.facebook.com/lcdiocese; www.YouTube.com/lcdiocese; www.facebook.com/usccb; or www.usccb.org/consecration. The worship aid can be found in both English and Spanish.
The consecration follows a similar action of the bishops’ conference of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) who consecrated their nations to Our Lady of Guadalupe on Easter Sunday. The renewal of the consecration planned on May 1 does not change the designation of Mary as Patroness of the United States under the title of the Immaculate Conception. Rather, this prayer reaffirms and renews previous Marian entrustments and unites us in solidarity with our Holy Father Pope Francis, who recently established the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, as a source of protection and strength.
“This will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus,” said Archbishop Gomez in a letter to the U.S. bishops. Each year, the Church seeks the special intercession of the Mother of God during the month of May. “This year, we seek the assistance of Our Lady all the more earnestly as we face together the effects of the global pandemic,” he continued.
Through a collective dedication or entrustment of a nation to Mary, an act of consecration is meant to be a reminder to the faithful of the Blessed Mother’s witness to the Gospel and to ask for her effective intercession before her Son on behalf of those in need. Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore, the first bishop of the United States, promoted devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, and placed the U.S. under her protection in a pastoral letter of 1792. The 21 bishops attending the Sixth Provincial Council of Baltimore in 1846 determined to name the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of the Immaculate Conception, as the Patroness of the United States, and Pope Pius IX approved this decision the following year. Several popes have likewise consecrated the world to Mary on various occasions.
Renewal of the Consecration of the United States of America
to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, you are the fairest fruit of God’s redeeming love. You sing of the Father’s mercy and accompany us with a mother’s love. In this time of pandemic, we come to you, our sign of sure hope and comfort.