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Archbishop: Making the consecration real in our lives is what matters

October 19, 2017
Valerie Schmalz

Less than a week after Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone consecrated the Archdiocese of San Francisco to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, he sat down with Catholic San Francisco to talk about what comes next.

Ideally the consecration will “intensify our commitment to sharing a life of prayer, of faith, of the truth and mercy of Christ and of our time, talent and treasure,” Archbishop Cordileone said.

At the Oct. 7 consecration, Archbishop Cordileone called upon the people of the archdiocese to pray the rosary, do penance and go to eucharistic adoration. Our Lady of Fatima requested 100 years ago that we spread devotion to her Immaculate Heart, pray the rosary and do penance. Today, if we do that, we can transform the world, he said in his homily, saying the last century has been a “living reflection of hell” with wars, genocides, and such now common horrors as abortion.

“This last century we see hints of hell in the world in which we live. Just as we see hints of heaven. Hell is when we turn our backs on God. Denying the goodness and order of creation is a way we turn our backs on him,” Archbishop Cordileone said in the interview.

“If this becomes a treasured memory, I don’t know if it will make a difference,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “I am convinced it will make a difference if people begin to heed the request, appropriate this in their daily lives in very concrete ways.”

While the archdiocese will likely develop some programs to encourage those practices, all are ones that individuals and families can do on their own – and many already do, Archbishop Cordileone said. “There are discussions that can take place on how we do this on a more programmatic way, which I hope we can roll out,” he said. “But it doesn’t need to be a program.”

Already many parishes pray the rosary before or after weekday Mass and many parishes have adoration, he noted. “People pray the rosary every day. I encourage families to pray the rosary at least once a week. We don’t need a program to do that.”

On the penitential side, Friday fasting or abstaining from meat or fasting in another way does not require anything but a personal commitment. Going to confession is another way to develop the penitential side – and to experience and offer God’s mercy, he said.

“Generous availability of confession is one way of extending God’s mercy,” Archbishop Cordileone said. “Our accompaniment of immigrants. That is a perfect way of how mercy needs to dull the sharp edge of justice. Strict justice sometimes ends up being overly harsh. So mercy helps mitigate that. And the most merciful thing we can do for people is to help them know the truth and help them to live in accordance with the truth.”

While the world has already been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it makes sense to call upon Mary in her Immaculate Heart “the gate to heaven” specifically for the archdiocese, he said.

“It is on the diocesan level that the work of the church is really sustained and coordinated. It takes place in the parishes and is sustained and coordinated at the diocesan level,” Archbishop Cordileone said.

The idea of the consecration “came from the people. It was discerned by the leadership and guided by the leadership and the committee I appointed. This is a very good example of communion operating at the level of the local church, all of us having a role in this,” he said.


Living the Marian consecration

In an interview with Catholic San Francisco following the consecration of the archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Cordileone invited the faithful to continue to bring the Blessed Virgin into their lives in “very concrete ways,” including the following.

Individuals praying the rosary daily
Families praying the rosary weekly
Frequently making a good confession
Frequently participating in adoration
Fasting and abstinence
Accompaniment of immigrants

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