Archbishop Terrence Prendergast consecrates his Ottawa diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on July 1. (Photo by Paul Lauzon)

Bishops across country consecrate dioceses to Mary on Canada Day weekend

  • July 4, 2017

OTTAWA – From coast to coast, many Canadian bishops consecrated their dioceses to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Canada Day weekend.

They did so at the invitation of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (CCCB) Permanent Council to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

In Ottawa, at Notre Dame Cathedral, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast noted how the consecration was not only linked to Confederation, but also to the 170th anniversary of the Ottawa diocese, the 70th anniversary of the historic Marian Congress of 1947 during which Canada was consecrated to Mary for the first time, and the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima.

“What a blessing it is for us to live such a beautiful country as we have and with such stalwart fellow citizens,” Archbishop Prendergast said in his homily. “However, now more than ever Canada needs to hear the Gospel message proclaimed by the lives of missionary-disciples such as we are called to be.”

The Archbishop noted that more needs to be done in reconciling with Canada’s Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.

“An unpleasant aspect of our heritage is how we have failed to act justly towards those people who were here in our land before our European ancestors arrived to settle and bearing with them the Gospel message,” the archbishop said.  “The peoples of the First Nations were here before us. As Canadians, we must continue to redress historic injustices recognizing that we are not ultimately the true owners of the land because it all belongs to God for us to share.”

He noted the “many commitments made to correct the mistreatment of the Indigenous peoples such as those brought to light by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission published two years ago now.”

The CCCB prepared a “Prayer for the Consecration of Canada to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary” for the July 1 services.

“Your Son is the beginning of God’s new creation and you are his masterpiece: intercede for our Churches, for all our people, especially the Indigenous peoples, the first stewards of this land of Canada, and all who come here to live, take refuge, or visit,” Archbishop Prendergast prayed and he knelt before a replica of Our Lady of the Cape, the statue is at the national Marian Shrine at Cap-de-la-Madeleine near Trois-Rivières, Que.

In St. John’s, NL, Archbishop Martin Currie consecrated the people of his diocese July 1 during a televised Mass.

“Loving Mother of Our Lord, help us to uphold religious freedom in Canada and the natural rights of parents and families. Inspire us to protect the unborn, to help the poor, the marginalized, and to give support to the infirm and elderly,” Archbishop Currie read from CCCB’s consecration prayer.

In Vancouver, Archbishop J. Michael Miller made the consecration at a special Mass on July 2.

In Edmonton, Archbishop Richard Smith consecrated his diocese following an evening Mass on July 1, praying before what is believed to be the first Marian statue of the Archdiocese, one used by Bishop Vital Grandin in 1871 to consecrate the Diocese of St. Albert to the Blessed Virgin.

In Calgary, Bishop Terrence McGrattan made the consecration on July 1 and invited the faithful to a BBQ.

Bishop Scott McCaig of the Military Ordinariate also consecrated the people of his far-flung diocese from CFB Cold Lake in Alberta.  In an email, Bishop McCaig said he spoke on “consecration being more than pious devotion but a true unleashing of grace. And now we must correspond to that grace.”

Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto was in Rome on July 1 and made a consecration prayer there.

“Mary our Mother, we place our country Canada in the sanctuary of your Holy Heart for we know that there we will find Jesus, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy  Spirit, pone God, forever and ever, Amen,” the CCCB consecration prayer closes, followed by a Litany for Canada.

Other dioceses will mark the consecration at other dates.  For example, the Diocese of Trois-Rivières will consecrate to Mary on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin on Aug. 15.  Montreal will consecrate on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on Oct. 7. 

On Sept. 26, the Feast of the Canadian Martyrs, the Canadian bishops will re-consecrate Canada to Mary’s Immaculate Heart at Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa as part of their annual plenary gathering.

"I believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the key to reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples,” said Dennis Girard, of, a website launched to promote Marian devotion and raise awareness of the 1947 Consecration of the Dominion of Canada.   “Look at what happened after the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531. Millions of Mexico’s Indigenous peoples came to faith in Christ and were baptized.”

“If she did it in Mexico 500 years ago, she can do it again in Canada,” he said.

Comments (1)

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God bless the Canadian bishops and God bless Canada.

Consecration to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart is the best solution to these difficult times in our world.

I pray other countries do the same.

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