By Celine Klosterman
The premise is simple: Place images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary in your home as a reminder of their centrality to family life, and renew your devotion to Christ and his Blessed Mother. It’s called home enthronement, and cluster parishes in Hills, Lone Tree and Nichols are embracing the practice.
St. Joseph’s in Hills and St. Mary parishes in Lone Tree and Nichols gave a total of 150 home enthronement packets to Mass attendees the weekend of May 26-27. Catholics also spoke at those Masses about how the devotion has enriched their spiritual lives.
Since enthroning their home, spouses Terry and Mona Ball were inspired to set aside time daily to pray together — and haven’t missed a date. Their fellow Hills parishioner Emy Rivera was moved to set aside an extra hour each week to pray, and she feels more peaceful and joyful as a result.
The enthronement ceremonies the Catholics took part in involved a blessing, prayer and promise to dedicate one’s home and self to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
“The Enthronement is more than a blessing of the Sacred Heart picture for the home,” reads a ceremony guide produced by the Priests of the Sacred Heart. “It is the dedication of a person and family to the Divine Heart of Jesus, for us to live in union with him by love, grace and obedience to his Commandments. The Enthronement brings countless graces and blessings, as enumerated in the Twelve Great Promises he made to Saint Margaret Mary.”
In the visions of 17th-century French nun and mystic Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus promised graces, peace, consolation, blessings, mercy and more to people devoted to his Sacred Heart.
For Rivera, the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that hangs in her living room is a reminder to thank him for his sacrifice. She said she offers a prayer of gratitude each time she passes by the picture. “I got the enthronement because of what Jesus did for us — he died for our sins. That was an act of divine love and kindness.”
To share her love for Christ, she invited her pastor, Father Bill Kneemiller; friends; Knights of Columbus; and fellow parishioners to her and her husband Leon Van Horn’s home enthronement ceremony March 11.
Fr. Kneemiller said the practice is about inviting Christ into the center of a home, a place often occupied by TVs and other distractions that can promote unchristian messages. “If our Catholic faith is not lived in the home, it has little effect on our lives,” the priest said. He suggested reading about the saints, and said that even with families’ busy schedules, there is still time to offer meal prayers or say a decade of the rosary.
He was introduced to home enthronement by Terry Ball, who heard about it from the Knights of Columbus of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Iowa City. Those Knights brought the devotion to their parish in 2009 after searching for a program to strengthen the faith of men and, by extension, their families, Gary Sieren said. He belongs to Council 14385 at St. Wenceslaus.
He and fellow Knight David Fetzer are working to promote home enthronement statewide, Sieren said.
Ball said part of the enthronement is committing to a spiritual devotion of your choice. For about a month, he and Mona have observed a daily time of prayer together in their kitchen, where images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary hang. “This is a powerful spiritual tool,” Ball said.
Fr. Kneemiller said another couple is praying together for the first time since embracing the home enthronement devotion.
“Our homes need the enthronement to bring us the grace to deal with whatever happens in our lives and our homes,” said Hills parishioner Kay Evans.
For more information, visit www.enthronement.org.