On May 1, during their Provincial meeting, the Bishops of Pennsylvania affirmed their desire to dedicate each Catholic diocese and eparchy in the Commonwealth to the protection of the Blessed Mother.
The dedication coincides with the Church’s observance of the 100th anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s appearances to three young shepherd children near the town of Fatima, Portugal between May 13 and October 13, 1917.
“Our world today is just as much in need of healing and mercy as it was a century ago, and so we invoke the tender care of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Lord and our Mother,” said the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton.
The Bishop then went on to quote Pope Francis, who will be visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal on May 12 and 13, 2017: “Mary reminds us of the necessity of abandoning oneself to God, the source of love and mercy. … Let us entrust ourselves to Mary, Mother of hope, who invites us to turn our gaze towards salvation, towards a new world and a new humanity.”
The official dedication of the Commonwealth’s dioceses and eparchies to the protection of Mary will be marked with a special Mass to be celebrated by all the Bishops of Pennsylvania on Sept.r 27, 2017 at noon in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Harrisburg.
The second part of the dedication will be an observance in each diocese and eparchy on the weekend of Oct. 14-15.
In honor of the centennial of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearances, Bishop Bambera is also leading a special pilgrimage to Spain and Portugal Sept. 18-26, 2017.