How do I make the Consecration with the parish?
The parish will begin a 33-day preparation on Friday, July 13th using Fr. Michael E. Gaitley's book 33 Days to Morning Glory published by Marian Press, 2011. It can be purchased from the Poor Clare gift shop (9am-5pm, Monday-Saturday) on the campus of St. Ann Church or from any online retailer.
Each day, Fr. Gaitley offers a reflection from the traditional Marian teachings of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, and Bl. Pope John Paul II. At the end of each day's reflection, there is a short prayer prayed in union with the rest of the parish and Catholics all over the world, though unknown to us, who are also making the consecration.
On August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption (holy day of obligation), those who have prepared by making this 33-day retreat guided by Fr. Gaitley will gather in the parish church after all the Masses to make the consecration together. The daily prayers and consecration prayer are in Fr. Gaitley's book, as well as listed here.
What is Total Consecration?
Based on Fr. Michael E. Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory, pp. 24-27.
When Christ gave of himself completely on the cross, he won for us new life in himself. This is given freely to us, but we must cooperate with him in our lives. He uses man to continue his work of salvation in the world. Our inclusion in God's work of salvation is the most glorious honor and privilege of our lives—that he chooses us and strengthens us with his grace to be his instruments.
All of us share in one baptism, one universal call to holiness, and one salvation. There are different ways, however, that God calls us to be his instruments. Fr. Gaitley, in his book 33 Days to Morning Glory, reminds us of Paul's words: "there are varieties of service... and there are varieties of workings." God gives single lay people a special way of participating in his saving work; he gives families another way, priests another, and religious even another.
Among all the roles that God has shared among his faithful, Mary's work in God's redemption is a special and unique service. Her service began at the Annunciation, continued quietly throughout Christ's public ministry, and found it's culmination at the crucifixion of Christ, wherein Christ entrusted all of us to her as her sons and daughters. Her special service lasted for 33 years and now continues in heaven as she cares for us and intercedes for us.
The Spirit's mission is to sanctify us, to make us holy. Mary's task, because she is filled with the Holy Spirit, is also to make us holy: firstly by her example and secondly by her prayers. This cooperation between Mary and the Holy Spirit is a special relationship that causes us to call her the "Spouse of the Holy Spirit." In any spousal relationship, there is a union; and in this union the Holy Spirit uses Mary as an instrument working in and through her.
This spousal relationship and special task of pointing us toward Christ highlights the fact that to be Christian is to be Marian. Growing closer to Christ involves growing closer to his Blessed Mother. Mary, like Christ, understands us and wants to aide us in becoming saints in this life.
Consecration to Mary, then, is giving ourselves over to Mary so that she may complete her task in us. We entrust ourselves to her as a helpless child runs to his mother knowing that she can help him in time of need. Our Blessed Mother, in turn, flies to our aide, makes us holy, and points us to Christ as better men and women.
As a parish, let us enter into these 33 days with heartfelt prayer for one another as we strive to abandon ourselves to Mary's loving task of making us holy. While this retreat will be intimately personal, we set out together, united in faith, to beg the help of our common Mother.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us as we strive to live in greater union with you and your Son.