Amazing Grace Sweeps Over Wisconsin

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following was first published in The Catholic Herald, the newspaper for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wis.

by Karen Mahoney

Approximately 60 Catholics participated in the "Hearts Afire" program at St. Peter Parish in Kenosha, Wis., to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Based on the book 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-it-yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration, written by Marian priest Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, the parish-based program was one of a few pilot programs in the country.

The retreat program prescribes 33 days of spiritual reading and prayerful pondering, broken down so that participants spend seven days each on the Marian consecration teachings of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximillian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa, and Blessed John Paul II. The final five days are for review before reciting the Prayer of Consecration.

Designed to set hearts on fire with the love of God and neighbor and to inspire works of mercy in families, parishes and communities, Marian priest Fr. Angelo Casimiro, MIC, associate pastor of St. Peter, was excited to witness the changes in the lives of the participants.

"We had the participants making their consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 26, the Solemnity of the Annunciation," he said. "People were really excited coming into this program, and I saw so many people drawing closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, reaching out in fellowship and developing new friendships as they studied and got together each week."

Read more and learn how the group setting is more fulfilling and how Mary's tender embrace is transforming hearts, homes, and the Church: A New Approach to Mary

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