Published March 31, 2005
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop-emeritus John F. Donoghue and 13 priests from the Archdiocese of Atlanta gathered at St. Peter Chanel Church March 4 to celebrate the Lenten First Friday Vigil Mass in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Each month the faithful of the Alliance of the Two Hearts gather for a vigil of prayer to repair their own sins, the sins of their families, their community, their country and the world, by uniting their hearts with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in sacrificial love.
Attendee Cathy Alvarez spoke of the value of the event. “The only possible avenue for true renewal is collective repentance and submission to God, first by consecrating oneself and all one’s intentions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be cleansed of false notions,” she said. “It is Mary who has been given the power to crush the head of the serpent, Satan, the deceiver, and lead the children of God to renewal and ultimate union with their Head, Jesus Christ, who especially expresses his desire for this outcome by the eternal union of his heart, divine and human, with the Immaculate Heart of his human Mother. It is with these Two Hearts that all their children should be united.”
At this archdiocesan Lenten observance of the vigil of prayer and penance, Archbishop Gregory spoke of Pope John Paul II’s own consecration to Our Lady and her heart. He spoke of how it has been the pope’s filial fidelity to Our Lady that has continually sustained him during the great struggles and difficulties of his papacy, including his brush with death, and up into his present suffering. Archbishop Gregory acknowledged that the pope is bearing a heroic witness to the value of human life even in brokenness, like Christ’s Calvary from which comes resurrection.
“We were so grateful to hear our new archbishop’s witness concerning these things spoken from his own heart,” said Alvarez.
The 1 a.m. Mass was celebrated by Father John Shramko of St. Peter Chanel and Father Joseph Peek of St. Patrick Church, Norcross. As the group sang a long song in honor of Mary’s Fatima apparition, the two priests knelt at the feet of a statue of Our Lady. The entire congregation also knelt, acknowledging their love for her in union with their priests, as together they offered up their prayers for healing and renewal of the struggling human family.
For information about the Alliance of the Two Hearts and future vigils or home consecrations, contact Diane Guesman at (770) 993-1846 or email@example.com.