Erie Diocese

Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie gazes upon a statue of the Blessed Mother.

Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie will live stream the renewal of the consecration of Erie Diocese to the Blessed Mother at 7 p.m. Friday.

The United States as a whole will have its consecration renewed by Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, at 3 p.m. the same day.

The ceremony is an effort to bring people together in prayer during COVID-19. The statewide order to stay home and avoid having more than 10 people in one place has led to the cessation of religious gatherings.

Bishops in the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops have announced they plan to renew their country’s consecration Friday as well, while the bishops’ conference of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) consecrated their nations to Our Lady of Guadalupe on Easter Sunday.

Officials announced the “act of consecration to Mary is a reminder to the faithful of the Blessed Mother’s witness to the Gospel, and provides an opportunity to ask for her to intercede with her son on behalf of those in need. Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore, the first bishop of the United States, promoted devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, and first placed the United States under her protection in a pastoral letter in 1792.”

The Facebook page for the diocese will offer a link to access both livestreams, or a link is also available on www.ErieRCD.org in a banner displayed on the page.

All Catholic faithful, as well as anyone else interested in joining, are encouraged to participate in the “rare experience,” according to a press release from the Erie Diocese.

“I think it’s very important for the people of our diocese to come together in prayer in the midst of this pandemic,” Persico said. “Mary is our mother, the mother of the church. We are asking that she come to our aid by interceding with her son on our behalf during this time of real need.”

The renewal of consecration for the Erie Diocese is slated for 7 p.m. because Persico hopes to have entire households together at that time and tuning in to participate.

“It’s important that all of our voices be heard,” he said.

Local pastors are encouraged to hold a similar renewal of consecration via live stream where possible.

The service is brief and includes the reading of a short passage of Scripture, a single decade of the rosary, a consecration prayer and a short reflection, according to diocese officials.

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