Benedictine novice Fr. Jack Shrum lights candles in front of the icon of Our Lady of Kyiv.
Benedictine novice Fr. Jack Shrum lights candles in front of the icon of Our Lady of Kyiv.
SAINT BENEDICT — Benedictine Abbot Jeremy Driscoll and the monks of Mount Angel Abbey welcomed Archbishop Alexander Sample as the principal celebrant for the Mass of the Annunciation of the Lord Friday, March 25. Before the final blessing, Archbishop Sample led the monastic community, seminarians, other attendees, and those viewing on livestream in an act of consecration of the world, the church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The prayer of consecration was said in front of an icon of Our Lady of Kyiv, written by Benedictine Brother Claude Lane.

The consecration at Mount Angel occurred close to the time that Pope Francis made the act of consecration during a celebration of the sacrament of penance in Rome. At the request of the Ukrainian Latin Catholic bishops, Pope Francis invited the whole Catholic Church to participate in this consecration to “implore an end to the violence, and to entrust the future of our human family to the Queen of Peace.”

In anticipation of the solemnity, the monastic and seminary communities of Mount Angel prayed a novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as the Ukrainian bishops had asked the whole church to do. This spiritual preparation culminated in a solemn Mass that expressed trust in Mary’s intercession and solidarity of the church in western Oregon with the people of Ukraine. During the homily, Archbishop Sample shared that Jesus “desires to enter into the lives of so many people. He desires to be again a light coming to shine in what seems like an increasing darkness… Each one of us must give our own fiat to God, our yes to Jesus, our docility to the Holy Spirit, for God to enter into our world now.”

The monks and seminarians continue to pray for peace daily, asking through Mary’s intercession that “God’s mercy be poured out on the earth and the gentle rhythm of peace return to mark our days.”