Consecration of a diocese to the Sacred Heart!

I like this bishop.  He is the sort of bishop that Archbp. Mennini – Nuncio to England and Wales – is helping to appoint.   I remember his “inaugural” sermon as the newly “installed” bishop.  HERE

From the best Catholic weekly in the UK:

Bishop of Portsmouth to consecrate diocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ

The Rt Rev Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth, has announced his intention to consecrate the Diocese of Portsmouth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Egan’s decision to consecrate the Diocese coincides with the conclusion of the Year of Faith. [Something concrete came out of it!] In a message to the clergy and people of the diocese, he acknowledged that, owing to “powerful forces of chaos and moral malaise” within society today, “the Catholic community in Britain is … entering the unknown, an alien land, and the road ahead over the next decades is unmapped and unclear.”  [Our Lady’s Dowry!]

His invitation to the clergy and faithful of the Portsmouth Diocese to consecrate themselves, both individually and in a communal act to the Sacred Heart, is intended to strengthen Christian identity.

This consecration is not simply an act of piety,” Bishop Egan explained. “I want to ask everyone to put Jesus first, to acknowledge Him as their Lord, to profess Him alone to be the Way to human happiness, the Truth that sets us free, the Eternal Life for which we long.

Our faith is never a hobby, an add-on to something else, something we think about when we can.”

The clergy and faithful of Portsmouth Diocese have been invited to consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart on the Feast of Christ the King (November 24). Catholic teachers and schoolchildren have been invited to undertake this consecration in school, on the day after the Feast.

Fr. Z kudos to Bishop Egan.  Pompey is fortunate to have him.

I would add that more celebrations of the Extraordinary Form will help to revitalize liturgical worship, especially through the way learning the older form changes priests themselves.  The knock-on effect is a vital element in the renewal of our Catholic identity.

(Belated thanks to SM who sent me the press release from the diocese about this. I didn’t have the chance to post earlier.)

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  1. Deacon Augustine says:

    Fr. Z, some much-beloved members of the order of presbyters have greeted this news with comments such as “This isn’t really my thing.” and “Would this kind of thing mean anything to anybody these days?” Yours truly has been asked to preach on the matter and offer some explanation as to why we will be doing this.

    For the sake of our learned brethren ‘s edification, I wondered whether you might be able to post a blog about why we consecrate persons and things, the graces that can be obtained from this, and why it is part of our Catholic identity. I have no doubt that it would be more widely read and received coming from your good self, and there could be a lot of people out there who would benefit from your wisdom on the matter (including those who really ought to know about it, but for whom it has become a relic of the past, lost in the mists of time!) Please excuse me while I now go away to slap my forehead several times.

  2. Jeff says:

    This is awesome. More bishops need to consecrate their dioceses. Archbishop Nienstedt consecrated the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis about a month ago.

  3. Tony McGough says:

    Something concrete came out of it! says Fr Z.

    More than one thing … the Diocese of Shrewsbury, England, organised a Year of Faith pilgrimage to the Holy Land, led by the great Bishop Mark Davies. It was terrific, spiritually and educationally, and lovely socially. Reading the Gospels will never be the same again.

    And I’m sure other people will have other examples.

  4. Giuseppe says:

    @Deacon Augustine – I agree. Father Z, I’d love for you to help readers (e.g. me) understand the importance of something like this. For example, what it the significance of consecrating a diocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Why not consecrate a diocese to Jesus, Himself? Or to the Holy Spirit? Or to God, the Father? Or to God, in toto? There is certainly a special grace in this action, but I am not sure I get it. (I’m also the worst at prayer, as I find myself praying directly to Jesus about everything, even in masses in honor of a saint. I then start to worry that I offended the neglected saint.)

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