LAKE CHARLES — Bishop Glen John Provost will unite with Pope Francis and other bishops of the world in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, March 25 — the Solemnity of the Annunciation.

The Act of Consecration and Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be at 12:05 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 935 Bilbo Street. The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be prayed at 11:30 a.m., followed by The Angelus at noon. The faithful are invited and encouraged to participate.

The consecration comes as Russia continues to attack Ukraine. It will take place on the 38th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s consecration of the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart. 

Latin Rite bishops of Ukraine made a heartfelt plea on Ash Wednesday (March 2) asking Pope Francis to consecrate Russia and Ukraine “as requested by the Blessed Virgin in Fatima,” to bring an end to the current conflict.

The Pope will make the prayer in the afternoon on March 25 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, on the occasion of the Celebration of Penance, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. The same act, on the same day, will be carried out in Fatima by papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, as envoy of the Holy Father. The Act of Consecration will be performed in communion with the local Churches throughout the world.

At the Angelus on March 13, Pope Francis invited the whole Church to pray: “I ask all diocesan and religious communities to increase their moments of prayer for peace.” And at the general audience on February 23, he called for a day of prayer and fasting on Ash Wednesday for peace in Ukraine, saying, “May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war.”

On March 7, Bishop Provost issued the following statement on the War in Ukraine:

“The news from Ukraine has disturbed us all.   We must join our prayers to people of good will throughout the world for peace in that troubled land, torn by aggression and facing destruction.   As we have entered the holy Season of Lent, may our forty days of prayer with the Lord in the desert raise up to the mercy of our Heavenly Father the casualties of war, the separation of families, the needless destruction of property, the settlement of refugees, and the suffering of the innocent.   Mary, Mother of Peace, pray for us.   Lord, grant our world leaders the wisdom and courage necessary to face these challenges.  May God preserve us from war and keep us in peace.”