Sister Mary Ann Kirkland, IHM, gives a presentation on the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Chapel of the IHM Novitiate House of Formation. (Courtesy photo)

By Sister Mary Francesca
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Wichita hosted a public novena May 31 through June 8, nine nights preceding their patronal feast. This year’s theme focused on promoting family consecration to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
The evening presentations for the annual novena began in the Novitiate House chapel where one of the Sisters presented a talk to help foster Marian devotion. The novena encouraged a renewed fervor in devotional living, building each other up as the Body of Christ.
Following the talk, guests were invited to the dining room for light refreshments and friendly conversation. Upon returning to the chapel, a Eucharistic Holy Hour took place and confession was available. Each holy hour began by communally reciting the novena prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which accentuates the ideals of the family consecration to Jesus and Mary.
Promoting family consecration to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts bears even greater importance today when marriage and the family are under a direct attack from Satan. Through this consecration, the family formally establishes Jesus, reigning through the Heart of Mary, as the head of the Christian home.
Along with promoting this devotion, the Sisters prepared to consecrate their own home. On June 9, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Bishop Carl A. Kemme solemnly consecrated the motherhouse property and all it contains in order to make Mary (and therefore Jesus) better known and loved.
After celebrating Mass for the Sisters and guests, Bishop Kemme blessed the images of Jesus and Mary that were displayed in the sanctuary; he then prayed the solemn consecration prayer which included the following: “This property is given, dedicated, consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary who teaches us to be docile to God’s holy will, to receive all that he gives, to give all that He asks, to be available to Him at all times and in all ways, to desire to do all that He asks.”
With Mary’s special guidance and protection, the Sisters hope to “proclaim her triumph, to further her triumph, and to bring about the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the hearts of all.”