Ellen Von Hoene, a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Wichita, prays the Prayer of Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary on New Year’s Day at the Cathedral. (Advance photo)

Prays that the faithful be saved from paganism, relativism and become ‘fully alive’ in Christ
On New Year’s Day, in what will be an annual event, Bishop Kemme consecrated the Diocese of Wichita to the Immaculate Conception.
The prayer of consecration petitions the Blessed Virgin Mary to rule over the world with the Sacred Heart of Jesus to: “Save us from the spreading flood of paganism, relativism, heresy, and apostasy,” and to kindle in the faithful “the love of purity, the practice of virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, deeper love for Christ your Son in the Eucharist and fidelity to all the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.”
(The entire prayer appears on page 19 of the Dec. 21 edition of the Catholic Advance.)
Bishop Kemme invited all of the priests of the diocese to join him in the consecration at their parishes.
“Few persons, if any at all, have had as much influence in our lives, in how we live, how we think, or how we relate to this great big world of ours more than our mother,” the bishop said in his homily. “She is that one person, for good or for not so good, who has made the most difference in our lives.”
He said his mother would never have felt fulfilled had she not given birth to and raised all six of her children. Although she was not perfect, he said, she modeled how to live a good life, and how to be honest and considerate.
“But most of all, she taught us by her example how to be a good Catholic. If you were blessed with a faithful and loving mother, as I was, like me you owe her a debt of lifelong gratitude,” Bishop Kemme said.
The church invites the faithful on New Year’s Day, the Octave of Christmas, he said, to consider that God desired his only begotten son “to share in this human experience” and to give his son a mother who was preserved from Original Sin, declared by the Council of Ephesus centuries ago as “Theotokos,” Mother of God.
“And this is what we celebrate today in this great mystery as it has unfolded in the fullness of time,” Bishop Kemme said, adding, “But Mary’s motherhood was not exclusive to the Savior, for on the cross as he gazed down upon her with a son’s love, he bequeathed her to us as her children. From that moment and until eternity dawns, she, our refuge and our consolation, will mother us as her spiritual children.”
So we turn to her for guidance, for her intercession, and for her inspiration as the new year begins, he said, a year that will bring blessings and challenges.
The past several months have been unsettling in the church, the bishop said.
“We are now facing once again a crisis of trust in our leadership. The latest sexual abuse crisis that has now reached some of the highest ranks of the church’s hierarchy has left so many understandably dismayed, angry and untrusting of those who have been appointed to lead them,” he said.
“This time has also stirred many of us to greater prayer, deeper conversion, and stronger witness. In this time, I believe we cannot fail if we entrust ourselves and all our parishes, families, marriages, vocations, children, homes, and ministries to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Marriage and the family are under attack by the devil, he added, who wants nothing more than to destroy what God creates and unites.
“So many have abandoned their vows in marriage; many, including so many of our children and young adults are overwhelmed by the epidemic of pornography. Domestic violence, sexual abuse, crime, drugs, and addictions are rampant in our culture and society. The devil is certainly at work among us. Mary is our greatest ally in this demonic war and her rosary is our greatest weapon against the temptations and allurements of the evil one.”
The Blessed Virgin’s words at the Wedding at Cana were: “Do whatever he tells you,” he said. “Great miracles happen whenever we do whatever he tells us.”
The consecration was made with the hope that graces will flow to all in the diocese, Bishop Kemme said, that the parish and schools will thrive; that families will be blessed by reclaiming Sunday as the day of the Lord, a day of sabbath rest; that vocations to marriage, priesthood, and consecrated life will increase and flourish; that sinners will repent; that more people will hear the invitation to discipleship and stewardship through evangelization; and “that everyone of us in this new year and beyond will be ‘fully alive’ as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ now and always through the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother and ours.”