Lay Associations in the Diocese of Calgary
Registration c. 298: §1. In the Church there are associations distinct from institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life; in these associations the Christian faithful, whether clerics, lay persons, or clerics and lay persons together, strive in a common endeavor to foster a more perfect life, to promote public worship or Christian doctrine, or to exercise other works of the apostolate such as initiatives of evangelization, works of piety or charity, and those which animate the temporal order with a Christian spirit. §2. The Christian faithful are to join especially those associations which competent ecclesiastical authority has erected, praised, or commended.
The Church has always recognized an affinity for the Blessed Virgin Mary. From its very origins this affinity is recognized in Luke by great meaning of the word “blessed.” The Greek word for “blessed” is “Echaritomene,” which literally means a person “having been graced” or a person “having been loved.” The Church responds to the injunction of scripture and responds with the same love for the Blessed Virgin: “‘All generations will call me blessed’: ‘The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.’ The Church rightly honours ‘the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honoured with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs…. This very special devotion… differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration.’” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 971].
The greatness of St. Mary is often perplexing to people and even to Christians from other denominations. Blessed John Henry Newman acknowledged that scripture does not talk too often about The Blessed Virgin Mary. However, he notes that this in itself is something to be acknowledged to her praise. That despite being the Mother of God, who played a large role among the apostles, she never made this point to be important. Even the biblical authors mention the Virgin about the same number of times as the lesser known disciples. This is however, to Mary’s glory, since it is by being humble that “the meek shall inherit the earth” [Matt. 5:5]. The 19th century book, Fear and Trembling, describes the Blessed Virgin in this way: “To be sure, Mary bore the child wondrously, but she nevertheless did it ‘after the manner of women,’ and such a time is one of anxiety, distress, and paradox. The angel was indeed a ministering spirit, but he was not a meddlesome spirit who went to the other young maidens in Israel and said: ‘Do not scorn Mary, the extraordinary is happening to her!’ The angel went only to Mary, and no one could understand her” [Johannes de Silentio, Hong p. 65]. As we declare the Gospel to the world, to our families, to our husbands, wives and children, we look to St. Mary whose only goal was to serve Christ and God alone!
A blessed tradition dating back to some of the earliest times of the Church is the consecration or entrustment to the Blessed Virgin Mary. On Saturday, July 1, everyone in the Diocese of Calgary is invited to meet at St. Mary’s Cathedral with Bishop McGrattan at 10:00 a.m. See Diocesan Dates on page 20 for details. The other dioceses and archdioceses in Canada will also meet on this day to consecrate Canada to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This consecration is an act of prayer where we will ask St. Mary, the Mother of God, and of all Christians, to pray to Christ from her Immaculate Heart for us.
Our fellowship with the saints and other Christians does not end in this life, but carries onto the next [LG 49]. This is the same living heart that said “yes” to God, and it is the same heart that prays for the world to recognize Jesus as the Savior and Lord of Canada and the Savior and Lord of the universe.
As part of the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation the Bishops of Canada will be consecrating our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Diocesan Prayer Service on July 1, 2017
- Parishes are also invited to hold a parish celebration on one or more Saturdays within the anniversary year (July 1 2017 – July 1 2018).
- Download Prayer Service Templates
- Download Rosary Intentions Booklet
- Catechetical Materials.
Bishop McGrattan consecrated the Diocese of Calgary on 1 July, 2017 (St. Mary’s Cathedral at 10am for a service of Adoration, Scripture, rosary, and the consecration followed by a BBQ).
All parishes in the diocese are invited to pray the consecration prayer at the Vigil Mass on Saturday July 1st. Click here to download the prayer.
The CCCB has provided catechetical materials. Check out resources here.
The Most Rev. William T. McGrattan, Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary, has issued a decree of partial indulgence to be granted during the Jubilee Year of Fatima.
The partial indulgence can be obtained by visiting the Our Lady of Fatima Parish at 4747 30 St. SE, between the dates of April 18, 2017 and December 31, 2017 (see visiting times below). Those who seek to obtain this partial indulgence must "devotedly pray before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima," invoking her intercession.
In addition, the faithful must be reminded, according to the Code of Canon Law, the following:
- "To be capable of gaining indulgences, a person must be baptized, not excommunicated, and in the state of grace at least at the end of the prescribed works" (Canon 996 § 1)
- "To gain indulgences, however, a capable subject must have at least the general intention of acquiring them and must fulfill the enjoined works in the established time and the proper method, according to the tenor of the grant" (§ 2)
In addition, the Holy Father Pope Francis has also granted a plenary indulgence which can be obtained throughout the Jubilee Year, which began on November 27, 2016 and ending on November 26, 2017.
This plenary indulgence is granted through the following:
- By making a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Fatime in Portugal, and "devotedly participate in a celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary." In addition, the individual must also pray the Our Father, recite the Creed, and invoke Our Lady of Fatima
- By visiting, with devotion, and praying before an image of Our Lady of Fatima that is displayed for public veneration, during the anniversary days of the apparitions (the 13th of each month from May to October 2017). In addition, the individual must "participate there in any celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary" and pray the Our Father, recite the Creed, and invoke Our Lady of Fatima
- For the elderly and infirm: praying before an image of Our Lady of Fatima and spiritually uniting to God, through the Blessed Mother, all their "prayers and pains, or the sacrifices of their own lives"
To obtain the plenary indulgence, the faithful must fulfill the ordinary conditions: go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, and be truly repentant and have firm resolve to be detached from sin.
Click here to read Concession of Plenary Indulgence, issued from the Shrine of Fatima, in full.
Our Lady of Fatima Parish: Centennial Celebrations and Visiting Times
Address: 4747 30th St. SE. Visiting times are the following: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday (3PM - 8PM). Saturday (10AM - 6PM). Sunday (8AM - 2PM)
- Wednesday, May 10, 2017:
- 6:30 PM - Rosary Followed by Holy Mass
- 8:00 PM - All Generations Will Call Me Blessed: A concert in honor of Our Lady in 5 languages
- Thursday, May 11, 2017
- 6:30PM - Holy Mass
- 7:30 PM - The Rosary Rediscovered: Experience the beauty of the Rosary in its choral recitation, live classical harp music, and teachings by recent Popes
- Friday, May 12, 2017
- 6:30 PM - Rosary followed by Holy Mass
- 8:00 PM - Dramatic performance of the Fatima apparitions (English)
- Saturday, May 13, 2017
- 5:00 PM - Rosary
- 6:00 PM - Solemn Mass presided by Bishop McGrattan, followed by candlelight procession
- Sunday, May 14, 2017
- 12:00 PM - Holy Mass, folowwed by dramatic performance of the Fatima apparitions (Portuguese)
Policy for inviting Bishops, Priests, Deacons or Lay Speakers into the Diocese of Calgary
It has been happening with increasing frequency that groups within the Diocese invite Bishops, Priests and Deacons from outside the Diocese of Calgary for ministry here as resource persons, animators, directors, homilists, etc. Lay persons have also been asked to lead retreats, talks etc. There is a definite procedure to be followed in these cases. All groups within the Diocese are asked to abide by this policy.
- No Bishop, Priest, Deacon or Lay Speaker is to be invited into the Diocese without the express permission of the Bishop of the Diocese or the Chancellor having been granted.
The first step in the procedure, therefore, is to write to the Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary addressed to the "Chancellor" requesting permission to bring in such a person. In addition to the letter or email to the Chancellor, a reference form must be filled out for the particular person you are inviting under one of the following categories: Catholic Clerical Faculties, Permission for Lay Catholics or Religious, or Permission for other Christians and non-Christians (see "Resources"). When applying for this approval it is expected that some information will be given on your part concerning the person whom you desire to invite into the Diocese. Your letter should give information as to what ministry such a person will be engaged in and the relevant dates. A short biography of the person and his qualifications would be helpful.
- Once the permission is received from the Chancellor to invite the person into the Diocese you may then approach that person and invite them to come into the Diocese.
- When all arrangements between the group concerned and the person being invited have been completed a Letter will be issued from the Chancellor acknowledging faculties or giving permission for the said person.
- Such a procedure takes time and application should be made well in advance of any definite planning. Requests must be made by letter and not by word of mouth or telephone.