Bishop Mark was among the bishops of Pennsylvania at a Mass of Consecration to Our Lady of Fatima on September 27 at Saint Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg. During the Liturgy, Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia, consecrated the province to Our Lady of Fatima.
Earlier this year, the bishops of Pennsylvania voted that each Catholic diocese and eparchy in the state be consecrated to the Blessed Mother in observance of the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s apparitions at Fatima.
Photos By Chris Heisey; Story by Jennifer Reed
The Catholic Witness/Diocese of Harrisburg
Joining their voices in prayer and lending their honor of the Blessed Mother to strains of Marian hymns with hundreds of clergy, religious and lay faithful, the bishops of the dioceses of Pennsylvania concelebrated a solemn Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg Sept. 27 to consecrate the state’s Catholic dioceses to Our Lady of Fatima in this 100th anniversary year of her apparitions.
With a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Fatima adorned with flowers flanking the front of the church, the bishops of Pennsylvania’s eight Latin Rite and two Byzantine Rite dioceses gathered at the altar for the Mass, for which Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia served as principal celebrant.
Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh was the homilist for the Mass, and his message delivered to the capacity crowd called upon the faithful to emulate the three qualities that the Blessed Mother is shown to embody: to be a witness to Christ, to be a person of prayer, and to be a person of sacrifice.
Reflecting on the day’s Gospel passage (Luke 2:27-35) of the presentation of the Lord in the temple and Simeon’s words to Mary that her heart would be pierced, Bishop Zubik remarked that “It is precisely Mary’s role as disciple, and ours as well, that we reflect upon today as we as the Churches of all of Pennsylvania consecrate everything of who we are as Church to our Blessed Lady.”
The Mother of Jesus, he said, embodies three specific qualities in which we are called to follow as disciples of her Son:
“She is a witness, pointing to her son Jesus as she always would do. She shows herself to be a woman of prayer, always knowing how essential and absolutely necessary every day God in prayer. She shows how imperative it is to be a person of sacrifice, to take everything done in her life and to make it holy,” Bishop Zubik said.
Turning to the occasion for the celebration of the Mass that day, the bishop said that Mary’s message to the three shepherd children at Fatima a century ago was one also intended to the entire world: what it truly means to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The occasion of our gathering here today is in fact a revelation of the centenary anniversary of Mary’s apparition to three youngsters at Fatima over the course of six times from May 13 to October 13. What Mary shared with those three children for the sake of the entire world was the important message of what it means to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. What Mary told those three children was this: console God, let him know that you believe in him, let him know that you love him, let him know that you want to serve him. And clearly within the context of that challenge, Mary was inviting those three youngsters, and all of us, to imitate our dear Blessed Lady in those three virtues:
In all of the Scripture passages in which we meet Mary, we find those three qualities of our dear Mother so evident: witness, woman of prayer and woman of sacrifice.