(LifeSiteNews) — On March 25, as Pope Francis consecrated the Church and the world, in particular Russia and Ukraine, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Peter’s Basilica, the entire American episcopate, in answer to the Pope’s invitation and Our Lady’s request at Fatima, joined in some form or another in making the consecration.
LifeSiteNews compiled a list of bishops from throughout the world participating in the consecration, naming those from the United States, Canada, and elsewhere individually when possible. CNA likewise provided details about the manner of each American bishop’s participation.
The diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, announced on Facebook that their bishop would “pray the consecration with the faithful of Toksook Bay on the shores of the Bering Sea on the same day looking towards Russia.”
In Philadelphia, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the United States, joined Roman Rite Archbishop Nelson Perez for the celebration of a solemn Mass and the consecration to the Immaculate Heart.
“Today is the beginning of salvation,” Gudziak said, speaking of the feast day. “Let us say with Mary, may Your will, may Your word be done. And let us not doubt that God is with the world, with the suffering, and that His truth will prevail. He will give peace, and He will give life.”
“We trust, O Mother of God,” he prayed, “that through your heart, peace will dawn once more.”
The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., held the 40 Hours devotions in conjunction with the consecration. During the Mass for the Annunciation, before the recitation of the prayer of consecration to the Immaculate Heart, the basilica sang a Marian choral piece of Rachmoninoff, titled Bogorodiste Devo, along with a Ukrainian piece in honor of Our Lady. Many priests and diplomats, as well as professors and students of the Catholic University of America, were present for the celebration.
Michael Bors, a doctoral student of philosophy at CUA, told LifeSiteNews, “I had just returned from receiving the Eucharist and was kneeling in prayer when I heard the opening bar of the Bogoroditse Devo.”
“I almost gasped,” Bors said, “first because the piece is so beautiful; second, because of its significance. Cardinal (Wilton) Gregory was offering the Mass for peace in Ukraine, and soon he would perform the act of consecration of Russia in union with Rome and all the bishops of the world; but before that, we were singing this prayer to Our Lady through one of the most beautiful pieces of sacred music in the Russian language itself.”
“For me,” Bors explained, “the piece has a beautiful and sublime feeling that’s common with the best Italian and Western polyphony, but at the same time, it feels different – more otherworldly, haunting even. It resonated with the present fear and sorrow about war.”
“But as that music of Rachmaninoff flowed over us in that Basilica,” Bors continued, “with the knowledge that the bishops and Catholics around the world were united in this consecration, it felt like, for one moment, the Church was breathing ‘with both lungs.’”