Unite with Pope Francis as he consecrates Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
March 21, 2022
Ukraine War, Prayer
Catholics in the Diocese of Wollongong are being encouraged to join their prayers with those of Pope Francis this Friday (March 25) on the feast of the Annunciation when he consecrates Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The act of consecration places the warring countries under the protection of Mary, the Mother of Christ, trusting in the power of her intercession. Such an act looks towards God, the source of all peace, and seeks God’s peace through Mary.
“Acting as the Universal Pastor of the Church, Pope Francis will renew the consecration urged at Fatima more than 100 years ago,” Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said.
“The bishops of Australia are united with the Holy Father as he leads the faithful around the world in this act of consecration and we invite all people to join us in praying for peace in Ukraine.”
Pope Francis will perform the act of consecration in Rome at 5pm, which will be the middle of the night in Australia.
“We urge people to spend part of their day on March 25 in prayer—attending Mass, praying with family or friends, in silent prayer at a local parish or chapel or in whatever way you can,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
Archbishop Coleridge said the feast of the Annunciation, when the Church celebrates Mary’s “yes” to the call of God, is a good day for the consecration, a day when the world says “yes” to the call of peace.
“Next Friday we stop and turn to Jesus the Prince of Peace, who tells us that peace is possible in a world so badly wounded by war in Ukraine and elsewhere,” he said.
“Thousands have died, millions have fled and millions more are living in fear. We raise our hearts, our minds and our voices to God for an end to this horrific violence and destruction.”
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.