By Dominique Johnson
On April 23rd, Archbishop Jose Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced plans to reconsecrate the United States to the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 1st. The archbishop said in a letter to the bishops of the U.S. that the reconsecration “Will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus.”
Archbishop Gomez shared a liturgy guide with his brother bishops and encouraged them to reconsecrate their diocese to Mary as well. Bishop Andrew Bellisario, C.M., took the opportunity on May 1st and reconsecrated the Diocese of Juneau, as well as the Archdiocese of Anchorage, during a livestreamed liturgy at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage.
In his scripture reflection, Bishop Bellisario shared a history of consecrations to the country to Mary. The bishop said, “What is clear is that our Blessed Mother has accompanied us in the United States since the very beginning.”
In this liturgy, the bishop said we “place ourselves in her care and thank our Lord for her.” Bishop Bellisario added that Mary, “unites us more fully to her son. She helps to keep us close to her son.”
Following his Gospel reflection, the bishop led those viewing the livestream in praying the fifth sorrowful mystery of the rosary, the Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord. Bishop Bellisario then reconsecrated both dioceses to the Blessed Mother, renewing “the act of consecration and entrustment carried out by those who have gone before us.” He also prayed for those suffering from the coronavirus and working to find a cure.
The liturgy concluded with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.