All Are Invited to the Marian Congress this Saturday, May 14th

By Teresa Peterson

All Are Invited to the Marian Congress this Saturday, May 14th

Grow Closer to Mary During Her Special Month

All are invited to attend the 4th Annual Marian Congress on May 14th to be renewed in the love of our Blessed Mother. The theme of the event is Listen Like Mary and attendees will spend the afternoon learning more about the Blessed Virgin Mary and her ability to perfectly discern God’s will for her life. Click here to register for this free event.   Click here to visit event website.

The Marian Congress will be held at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, (5815 5th Avenue N., St. Petersburg) and will include talks by Father Ralph D’Elia III, Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle in St. Petersburg, Father Carlos Rojas, Parochial Vicar at St. Cecelia Catholic Church in Clearwater, and Celina Okpaleke, President of the International Consecrated Marian Society.

A talk given by Father Rojas will focus on what we can learn from the Blessed Virgin Mary about pondering things in our heart. He will focus on the various ways that Mary listened, analyzed, and prayed to discern God’s will.

“Mary pondered things in her heart to understand what God wanted her to do. We can do the same thing by following Mary’s example and having the same disposition,” said Father Rojas.

Father Rojas hopes that Catholics can realize that God has chosen them for a purpose and by discerning God’s will, they discover their purpose. Through listening, prayer, and discernment, Catholics can learn to follow the path that is in accordance with God’s will in their family life and in parish life.

The theme, Listen Like Mary, is rooted in Luke 2:19. After the birth of Jesus, shepherds came to worship Him in the manger. The shepherds told Mary how the angels had proclaimed that a savior had been born who is Messiah and Lord. Then, “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Mary’s way of listening is what we are called to do as disciples. Attendees will explore how to Listen Like Mary with engaging speakers, prayer and faith sharing.

The global Catholic Church is focused on learning to listen better – to one another and to the Holy Spirit. We are responding to our Holy Father’s call for a Synod on how to listen better – to God and to one another. The Synod on Synodality is the fruit of the Spirit and the discernment of our Holy Father reading the signs of the times.

Pope Francis states, “It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium.”

After the talks, there will be a multicultural praying of the Rosary followed by the Saturday vigil Mass at 4:00 p.m. During the Mass, attendees will renew their Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Each year, we renew our consecration personally and as a Diocese. The Mass will be livestreamed at for the homebound, but the rest of the Marian Congress will be in-person only.

Over 1,300 people gathered at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle on Sunday, May 6, 2018, to pray during a Holy Hour as Bishop Gregory Parkes consecrated the Diocese of St. Petersburg to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our consecration was renewed in 2019, 2020, and 2021. We will be renewing our consecration again on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Making a consecration is an act of love and love needs to be constantly renewed. Renewing your consecration means giving yourself again to Jesus in and through the Heart of Mary.

Caption: An image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is on display at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle during a Holy Hour in 2018 to consecrate the Diocese of St. Petersburg to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Marian Congress is organized by the Office of Intercultural Ministries. Individual donations to the Catholic Ministry Appeal make this ministry possible in our Diocese, serving thousands each year.