Who is a Consecrated Marian Catechist?
A Consecrated Marian Catechist is a member of the International Marian Catechist Apostolate who is a firm believer in the Catholic Faith, has completed the required doctrinal and spiritual formation, and has made the Solemn Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with the approbation of the International Director.
What is the Consecration?
The Act of Consecration is a sacramental, a particular spiritual offering of one’s self for the apostolate of catechesis. It does not constitute a person in a state in life, as does, for instance Religious Profession, but rather obtains for him or her special grace for the apostolate of catechesis. Consecrated Marian Catechists remain members of the lay faithful. For that reason, they do not place special initials after their names as do members of institutes of consecrated life. Needless to say, the Act of Consecration does not change your state in life but within your state in life you are making a special act of devotion to God to be a catechist. This act brings with it an abundance of particular graces in order to live out the Consecration. Please see the article “What The Consecration Means and What It Does For A Person Who Makes It,” for a complete explanation.
Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary is made in a spirit of love for God and for neighbor. It is a generous gift of self to the service of Christ and His Church. The established Consecration requirements are not arbitrary. They are planned and implemented according to the requirements of Church law, under the direction of His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, the International Director and Episcopal Moderator of the Marian Catechist Apostolate. As Cardinal Burke explains, “The Consecration signifies our desire to love Christ more, and our dedication to bring Christ to others.”
Consecration requirements include:
- The habitual exercise of the spiritual practices of the Marian Catechist. Our love for Christ and fidelity to His Church is sustained by the following spiritual practices, which have long been a beautiful part of Catholic life and tradition:
- Holy Mass and Holy Communion – daily
- Holy Rosary (five decades) – daily
- Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – daily
- Memorare for the intentions of our International Director – daily
- Angelus – twice daily
- Way of the Cross – daily
- Spiritual Reading – 15 minutes daily
- Meditation – 15 minutes daily (meditation on Sacred Scripture using Lectio Divina is recommended; a helpful guide is available from our bookstore)
- Examination of Conscience and Act of Contrition – each evening before retiring
- Sacrament of Confession – every two weeks;
- Completion of the Revised Basic and Advanced Catholic Catechism Courses;
- Completion of the Commentary on the General Directory for Catechesis along with the questions on the Commentary;
- Completion of the Thirty-Day At-Home Ignatian Retreat through the International Office of the Marian Catechist Apostolate.
Consecration Articles and Novenas
Consecration: Not Mere Words. A Grace Filled Way of Life by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, D.D., J.C.D.
Why Make the Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, D.D., J.C.D.
The Spiritual Practices: A Reservoir of Strength and Joy by Msgr. Roger J. Scheckel, Spiritual Advisor
Formal Request for Consecration
Upon completion of all of the above, you may request to make your Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. All persons desiring to make their Consecration must receive approval from the International Director. To obtain his approval, a formal letter indicating your desire for Consecration and describing your present or future work in catechesis must be submitted to the International Office of the Marian Catechist Apostolate on or before May 1st of each year in which you hope to make or renew your Consecration.
When should the Consecration be made?
Once approved, the Consecration is to be made using the Consecration Prayer written by Father John A. Hardon, S.J., ideally after the homily during Holy Mass, on the day chosen by the International Director. It is to be witnessed either by the International Director or by a priest of your choosing, usually your parish priest or spiritual director.
Those who are unable to make their Consecration on the specified day must request a dispensation as part of their letter requesting Consecration.
What is my commitment after Consecration?
The Consecration involves a one-year commitment to lead an exemplary Catholic life, according to the principles set forth in the Marian Catechist Manual. This commitment does not have the canonical status of a solemn vow, and is not binding under penalty of sin. It is, however, a most serious public commitment in the Church. The Consecrated Marian Catechist commits to:
- carrying out all of the Spiritual Practices listed above to the best of one’s ability according to one’s state in life;
- deepening one’s understanding of the Catholic Faith, as contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sacred Scripture and Tradition, and as taught by the Church’s Magisterium under the Vicar of Christ. Lifelong study is necessary because the more deeply the catechist understands the Faith, the more fully he or she will be able to live and to hand on the Faith and its practice to others;
- as an active Consecrated Marian Catechist, devoting some time each week to the apostolate of catechesis, that is, to sharing the Catholic Faith with others; or, as a contemplative Consecrated Marian Catechist, dedicating one’s prayers, sacrifices and self-surrender to God’s will for the extension of the Kingdom of God on earth, most specifically for the fruitfulness of the work of active members of the Apostolate;
- cooperating with other Marian Catechists in disseminating the revealed truths of the Catholic Faith to others;
- following the directives of the International Director and his delegates.
Steps for renewing or making your First Consecration
- In early Spring, those desiring to make their First Consecration should contact the International Office to notify us of their intent to make the Consecration. We will then notify you of any needed information (Certificates of Completion for the Revised Basic and Advanced Courses, etc.).
- Those renewing and making their First Consecration should send their “Request for Consecration” letter to the International Office so it arrives on or before May 1st. Include in the letter the name of the priest and the place of Consecration, if not with the International Director at the Consecration Weekend in La Crosse. It is important to include the priest’s name and address so that the International Director can request that he confer a special blessing upon you. Include your request for a date change, if one is necessary, the requested date and the reason for the change. A Consecration date change does not alter the May 1st deadline for completing all the requirements and submitting your letter of request.
- In mid June, you will receive notice from the International Office of the International Director’s decision regarding your request for Consecration and any dispensations. Once approved, you can prepare for your Consecration day by prayerfully reviewing the Consecration Prayer and praying the Novena to the Sacred Heart and the Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe nine days before the day of your Consecration. You will receive a letter to hand to your priest which includes the Consecration Prayer and the Blessing of Catechists Within Mass which is taken from the Book of Blessings. Cardinal Burke leaves it to the discretion of the priest whether the Consecration Prayer is prayed by you during or after Holy Mass; ideally, however, it is prayed after the homily. If the Holy Mass is celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, the Consecration is made and the Catechist Blessing is given either before or after Holy Mass.
Sample letter requesting Consecration – Please Type!
Your phone number and e-mail address
His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
International Director of the Marian Catechist Apostolate
P.O. Box 637
La Crosse, WI 54602-0637
For First Consecration:
I am requesting your permission and blessing to be consecrated as (an active or a contemplative) Marian Catechist with you on (date) in La Crosse OR at (church name, priest’s name and address). I intend to continue to share and teach the Faith by (state catechetical work). (If needed, also include your request for a date change, the requested date and the reason for the change.)
For Consecration Renewal:
I am requesting your permission and blessing to renew my Consecration as (an active or a contemplative) Marian Catechist on (date) in La Crosse OR at (church name, priest’s name and address). I intend to continue to share and teach the Faith by (state catechetical work). (If needed, also include your request for a date change, the requested date and the reason for the change.)
Offering a remembrance in your prayers would be a kind and thoughtful way to conclude your letter.
Yours in Christ,
Your typed name
PLEASE NOTE: A change in the date of your Consecration does not change the May 1st deadline for completing all the requirements and submitting your letter of request for Consecration