What I Have Seen and Heard
Published: May 10, 2007
Mary Our Queen Parish began the month of May with a ceremony of crowning the Blessed Virgin Mary last Sunday. We began Mass by honoring her as the Mother of the Church, the Mother of Believers and the Mother of God. During the next few weeks, many parishes and schools throughout the Archdiocese of Atlanta will find an opportunity to reverence Mary during this month of May with crowning ceremonies and other expressions of devotion, as are customs among Catholics, the world over.
Conceivably without planning, our nation also celebrates Mother’s Day during this month that has long been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Marian devotion within the Archdiocese of Atlanta is about to achieve a new impetus as we embark on a program of catechesis dedicated to increasing our knowledge of and love for the Blessed Virgin Mary in preparation for the re-consecration of the Archdiocese of Atlanta to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the crowning of Our Lady of Guadalupe as Empress of the Archdiocese on December 12.
Beginning with our Eucharistic Congress this June, we will have images of Our Lady of Guadalupe traveling throughout the parishes and missions of North Georgia in anticipation of December 12 when in 10 parish settings and at Christ the King Cathedral we will conclude this Marian catechesis with a special celebration of our rededication and crowning of the Blessed Mother under those titles.
Mary enjoys many different designations that spring from her identification with the peoples of the world. She is Our Lady of La Vang within the Vietnamese community, Our Lady of Charity del Cobre in the Cuban community, Our Lady of Knock for the Irish, Our Lady of Czestochowa for the Poles, Our Lady of Loreto for the Italians, Our Lady of Fatima for the Portuguese, and Our Lady of Lourdes for the French, along with dozens of other titles that bring her close to all the nations of the world.
Like most of you, at one time or another, I have been offended by the crass commercialization of some of the most revered values and traditions in our society. We can often reduce the most esteemed realities to just another shopping adventure, and surely Mother’s Day is ripe for such trivialization. Although this secular holiday is not a religious festival, it conjures up within the human heart some of the most profound religious sentiments that any of us ever have. Mothers are pivotal in helping us come to appreciate, to accept, and to follow our Catholic Faith—or any other religious customs that we have. Yet merchants can make even motherhood lucrative.
There does, however, seem to be a natural affinity for May to be a time to honor mothers everywhere and for Catholics; it would not be May without time to recall the One who has perfected Motherhood within her womb beyond all others.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers within this local Church. May this Sunday bring all of you many expressions of the love that your children and grandchildren have for you. May belongs in a special way to mothers everywhere!