This weekend sees the celebration of our feast day, the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians on Sunday 24th May. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Australians’ lives, the Australian Catholic Bishops have entrusted the country to the care of Mary Help of Christians on her feast day.
The motion was agreed to during the bishops' plenary last week reads:
“That the Australian Bishops entrust Australia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary under the title Our Lady Help of Christians, seeking her intercession for the safety of all our people especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic.”
“A word of encouragement to the Catholic people of Australia”, the bishops noted that the country “has certainly suffered because of the pandemic, but not as grievously as some other countries. For that we thank God and we congratulate public health authorities and governments on their prompt and prudent responses,” the bishops wrote. “Australians in general have also shown the solidarity and good sense, the generosity and kindness needed in such a time. In our healthcare workers particularly we have seen an exceptional spirit of self-sacrifice, and for that we are all grateful.”
Mary Help of Christians has been the official patroness of Australia since 1844. Her feast day is celebrated on May 24, which this year coincides with the Feast of the Ascension. The entrustment of Australia to Mary Help of Christians can therefore take place on 24 or 25 May.
This year as we cannot gather physically, we shall gather together, though apart, to celebrate as one community of St Mary’s through a virtual liturgy. Each class will have access on Tuesday the 26th of May, to a liturgy on Google Slides that will take participants through some special songs, prayers and readings that we would have read had we celebrated in the church as normal.
I shall also leave you with a special prayer card that the Australian Catholic Bishops had made for this special occasion.
Yours in Faith
Religious Education Leader