In a mark of solidarity, the Diocese of Parramatta has joined Pope Francis and Dioceses across Australia and the world in consecrating Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
As the conflict reaches 30 days, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, prayed for both countries as he celebrated Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.
“We are saddened by the scale of destruction and overwhelmed by the prevalence of evil,” Bishop Vincent expressed in his Homily.
“However, as people of faith, we are united in solidarity with those protesting against the war, some at the cost of their own safety, with those fighting for justice and especially with the suffering innocent.
“We are inspired by the kingdom vision of Jesus and strengthened by the hope that it will prevail despite all things to the contrary.”
In acknowledging the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Bishop Vincent explained that Mary is a sign of hope for all of humanity.
“May we who honour Mary today be inspired by her to live out our discipleship of commitment and service,” he said.
“May Mary help us to show the mercy and compassion of God to the poor and lowly in these times of adversity.
“Then we too may be counted among her sons and daughters in the glory of God’s kingdom at the end of time.”
During Mass, Bishop Vincent joined with the congregation in the Act of Consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine,” the prayer reads. “Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love.
“Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world.
“The ‘Fiat’ that arose from your heart opened the doors of history to the Prince of Peace. We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more.
“To you, we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world.”
Pope Francis will perform the act of consecration at St Peter’s Basilica on Friday 25 March at 5pm Rome time, which will be 3am Saturday 26 March AEDT (Sydney time). You can watch the livestream from The Vatican here.
“This Act of Consecration is meant to be a gesture of the universal Church, which in this dramatic moment lifts up to God, through his Mother and ours, the cry of pain of all those who suffer and implore an end to the violence, and to entrust the future of our human family to the Queen of Peace,” the Pope wrote in a message to Bishops encouraging their participation in the consecration.
Catholics around the world are encouraged to spend 25 March in prayer, whether it be attending Mass, praying with family or friends or in silent prayer.
Read the Prayer for Act of Consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary here.
Re-watch the Consecration Mass from St Patrick’s Cathedral here or below.