Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison holds the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance during a Eucharistic Procession near Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Monona on October 7 where he earlier celebrated Mass and consecrated Catholic schools in the Diocese of Madison to Our Lady of Good Help. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)
MONONA — The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7 saw 800 of her children gathered at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Monona.
These children — students representing nearly every Catholic school in the Diocese of Madison — were there to participate in Bishop Donald J. Hying of Madison’s consecration of all the diocese’s schools to Our Lady of Good Help during a Mass.
The beautiful event packed the church with children, who were joined by principals, teachers, staff, and volunteers.
In many cases they were also accompanied by their pastor; most of the priests who have a school with their parish were there.
Diocesan deacons also assisted at the Mass, contributing to the reverence of the ceremony.
After Michael Lancaster, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Madison, greeted the congregation and made a few announcements, organ music signaled the start of the beautiful liturgy.
Bishop Hying celebrated the Holy Mass, and the Consecration to Our Lady was prayed immediately following the homily, setting this prayer to Mary in the midst of the Holy Sacrifice.
Bishop Hying said in his homily, “The Blessed Virgin Mary is here with us this morning, as indeed all of the saints are whenever we gather to celebrate the Most Holy Eucharist. Because our earthly worship is a participation in the worship of Heaven, so the whole Heavenly court joins with us. . . To consecrate ourselves to Mary is to put ourselves at her will, to place ourselves under her mantle, to ask for her powerful intercession before the throne of God. And of course, the will of the Blessed Virgin is the will of Jesus. As she said at the Wedding of Cana, ‘Do whatever He tells you.’”
The Mass was beautified by many individuals’ contributions, including the efforts of students. The readings and petitions were read by students, and the altar servers were members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and School.
Most especially, the singing was contributed by students. The Immaculate Heart of Mary School Choir led the congregation wonderfully.
The choir was headed by Daniella Binzak, its director, and Michael Mills, who is the director of music at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.
After the Mass, the “O Salutaris” and the Litany of the Saints accompanied the transition to Eucharistic Adoration and a Eucharistic Procession around the block of the parish.
This extension of faith into the world saw hundreds of students walking behind the Eucharist, distinguished by school banners.
The Sisters of Mary Morning Star, who reside in a convent next to Immaculate Heart of Mary School, led the Rosary during the Procession.
The weather, although chilly as fall dictated, was clear and sunny, a delightful setting for the Procession.
After following the Eucharist around the block, everyone filed back into the church for the gift of Benediction.
The students then followed their teachers and began dispersing back towards their buses.
Our Lady of Good Help
It was a beautiful decision to make the consecration under Mary’s title “Our Lady of Good Help.”
This particular title belongs to a Marian apparition that occurred right here in Wisconsin, near Champion, close to Green Bay, and it is the only Marian apparition in the United States that has been approved by the Church.
Our Lady’s message in this apparition instructed the visionary, Adele Brise, to teach the local children their Catechism and how to receive the Sacraments. Any Catholic school aims to fulfill this exact charge. Our Lady also emphasized that she would always be there to help Adele; Likewise, she will always be there to help the teachers and students of the Diocese of Madison. It was an uplifting sight to see the future of the Diocese be part of such a lovely day of prayer. May Our Lady of Good Help guide them as they study and grow.