By Fr. Bill Kneemiller
For The Catholic Messenger
One year ago, Father Nicholas Akindele, the parochial vicar at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport, made a consecration to Jesus through Mary. But his relationship and devotion to Mary date back many years. Now he is leading this special consecration beginning Sunday (Divine Mercy Sunday) at St. Paul’s. What does it mean participate in this consecration?
In this context, the word consecration means we are entrusting ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Father Michael Gaitley, director of Evangelization for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, says this consecration is the shortest, easiest and most perfect means to become a saint. He wrote the book, “33 Days to Morning Glory, Consoling the Heart of Jesus,” which is the focus of this consecration.
Fr. Akindele describes his personal experience: “Once I entrusted myself to the care of Our Lady, I had a sense of the connection with the Holy Spirit because Mary is the spouse of the Holy Spirit. And that brings me so close to Jesus every day because the spouse of the Holy Spirit takes us to Jesus. I discovered that having a Mother with a heart of love means that whatever I need or desire, I get. She asks Jesus for me. So I am content having her as my Mother. Even if I don’t ask, she takes care of me and, much more, she takes me to Jesus, helps me to avoid sin and to grow in holiness every day. I have dedicated my priesthood to her, and so my priesthood is in her hands. She connects my mission as a priest and I never feel alone.”
Married couples, Fr. Akindele said, “are already, in a sense, consecrated. But after some years of marriage, some couples can become tired or dry or have no joy or cheerfulness in their marriage and spiritual life. Love turns almost cold and sour. So, they may want to make a consecration, just like Mary at the wedding feast in Cana. She discovered that the couple had no more wine, and wine is a symbol of the joy lacking in many marriages today. So, all couples should consider entrusting their lives to our Blessed Mother. Jesus provides for them the most beautiful wine!”
Also, this consecration is ideal for young people searching for deeper meaning or purpose in their lives, and also helps those who may be struggling with any type of addiction.
Here’s how you can participate in this consecration to Jesus through Mary:
Fr. Akindele, email@example.com, will offer an introduction and a one-half hour DVD on Sunday, April 28, at 5 p.m. in Denning Hall at St. Paul the Apostle Parish. Also, he and Father Bill Kneemiller are helping to organize groups working with this effort and the materials needed.
The good news about the consecration prayers is that they are shorter (only about five to seven minutes) and geared toward anyone with a busy schedule. Ask your local Catholic book store for Fr. Gaitley’s “33 Days to Morning Glory.” Also, Fr. Kneemiller is assisting with the first week’s materials. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.