When Pope Francis consecrates Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City this Friday (March 25), Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger will be there. The bishop had previously scheduled a trip to Rome for this week to visit priests of the Diocese who are pursuing further studies while on diocesan assignment. He is also expected to meet with various Vatican congregations (high-ranking departments).
The Diocese of Albany will join the Holy Father and Bishop Scharfenberger at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for the consecration at the 12:15 p.m. Mass (Friday, March 25) at the very same time Pope Francis and Bishop Scharfenberger are celebrating the consecration at St. Peter's Basilica.
“We must all pray for peace in a spirt of penance and trust in God’s mercy,” Bishop Scharfenberger said. “Our prayer should be grounded in our recognition that the world only changes when hearts are changed. We appeal to God to open our hearts and those of all who harbor thoughts of violence to the peace that can come from God alone. Please pray for all of those whose lives are being threatened and disrupted by the violence in Ukraine as well as those engaged in fomenting it.
The Mass and consecration will be livestreamed on the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/albanycathedral/) and on the Diocesan YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/DioceseOfAlbany).
In the Catholic Church, to consecrate something is to make it sacred or holy. In the consecration of Russia and Ukraine, the Church is appealing to God, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to answer prayers for an end to the war in Ukraine.