diocesan feast day

Immaculate Heart of Mary – patronal feast day of the diocese this weekend

June 14, 2023
Immaculate Heart I by Charles Bosseron Chambers (1880–1964)

This weekend, 17–18 June 2023, the diocese celebrates the patronal feast of the solemnity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

As we celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the whole Diocese of Wollongong looks to Mary, the Mother of the Church. Thanks to the Marian shrines and churches around the diocese dedicated to the Mother of God, devotion to Mary should be very strong and widespread among the people in our local Church.

May we continue to contemplate the Virgin Mary, who pondered in her heart the mystery of Christ. We know that Mary is present as a mother to us and so shares in the many complicated problems which today beset the lives of individuals, families, parishes, schools and communities. We know that Mary has a heart for the Christian people in our constant struggle between good and evil, to ensure that we do not fall, or, if we have fallen, that we rise again.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is an image of the Church which, nourished by hope, acknowledges the saving and merciful action of God, in whose light our diocese reads our own journey and all of history. Mary helps us to interpret all that happens to us in the light of Jesus her Son. As a new creation molded by the Holy Spirit, Mary causes the virtue of hope to grow within us.

To the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of hope and of consolation, we confidently lift up our prayer: to Mary we entrust the future of the Diocese of Wollongong.

Prayer for the diocesan feast day

Mother of the Redeemer,
in this diocese dedicated to your Immaculate Heart,
with great joy we call you blessed.

In order to carry out his providential plan of salvation,
God the Father chose you before the creation of the world.
You believed in his love and obeyed his word.

The Son of God desired you for his mother
when he became man to save the human race.

You received him with ready obedience and undivided heart.
The Holy Spirit loved you as his mystical spouse and he filled you with singular gifts.
You allowed yourself to be led by his hidden and powerful action.

On this feast we entrust to you the diocese which acknowledges you
and invokes you under the title of your Immaculate Heart.

On earth you preceded the Church in the pilgrimage of faith:
guide us as we walk in your footsteps,
comfort us in our difficulties and trials,
help us to reach God.

To you, Mother of the Church, we confidently entrust our bishop,
our priests and religious, our families, ourselves.

Give us the light of true wisdom,
a wisdom to be found only in your Son as you told us at Cana:
“Do whatever he tells us.”
Enable us all to meet him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Sustain us, O Virgin Mary, on our journey of faith,
and obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation.

O clement, O loving,
O sweet Mother of God and our mother, Mary!

To be followed by three Hail Marys and the invocation:

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
pray for us.

Prayer adapted from Pope John Paul II’s Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe (1979) by Monsignor Graham Schmitzer.


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