Dear Family of the Archdiocese of New York,

Let me begin by thanking you for the many calls, cards, messages of sympathy, and, most importantly, your prayers for the repose of the soul of my dear Mom, Shirley Jean Radcliffe Dolan and for the consolation of my family and me.  They are much appreciated. 

Might I give you an update on a few things? I promise to be brief.

This Friday, March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation, our Holy Father will be consecrating and entrusting Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 5:00 p.m. Rome time.  I will be joining in that consecration from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral immediately prior to the Noon Mass.  If you can’t be there in person, you can follow the livestream on the Cathedral website here.  A copy of the prayer of consecration follows.

The following auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese will also recite the prayer of consecration in their home parishes at Noon.   

  • Bishop Dominick Lagonegro – Saint Columba, Hopewell Junction
  • Bishop John O’Hara – Saint Charles, Staten Island
  • Bishop John Bonnici – Saints John and Paul, Larchmont
  • Bishop Peter Byrne – Saint Anselm, Bronx

The consecration in the Cathedral will take place before the Ukrainian Cross which has been residing in the Cathedral for the last two weeks.  This special cross, which has travelled around the world, has become a symbol of hope and trust in the Lord during this time of unspeakable horror and tragedy that has been unfolding in Ukraine.  If you’re by the Cathedral in the next few days, please stop in to visit the cross and say a prayer for the suffering people in Ukraine.

Many of you have asked how to help support the Ukrainian people, particularly the efforts of the Church in Ukraine.  This week’s issue of Catholic New York has a list of Catholic agencies providing relief, especially for Ukrainian refugees.  You can find it in the print copy, or by visiting the website here.

Let me close by reminding you that Holy Week is coming soon, and that Monday, April 11, 2022 will be Reconciliation Monday throughout the Archdiocese of New York, as well as the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  Confessions will be available in all churches in our three dioceses from 2 – 4 p.m. and 6 – 9 p.m.  Why not take advantage of this great opportunity to prepare yourself to celebrate the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord by making a good confession?  Don’t worry if you haven’t been to confession in ages.  You can find resources to help you prepare here, and you can always simply tell the priest that it’s been a long time, and he will happily guide you!

With prayerful best wishes for a blessed Lent, I am,

Faithfully in Christ,

+ Cardinal Timothy Dolan

Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Basilica of Saint Peter
25 March 2022

O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, in this time of trial we turn to you.  As our Mother, you love us and know us: no concern of our hearts is hidden from you.   Mother of mercy, how often we have experienced your watchful care and your peaceful presence!  You never cease to guide us to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Yet we have strayed from that path of peace.   We have forgotten the lesson learned from the tragedies of the last century, the sacrifice of the millions who fell in two world wars.  We have disregarded the commitments we made as a community of nations.  We have betrayed peoples’ dreams of peace and the hopes of the young.  We grew sick with greed, we thought only of our own nations and their interests, we grew indifferent and caught up in our selfish needs and concerns.  We chose to ignore God, to be satisfied with our illusions, to grow arrogant and aggressive, to suppress innocent lives and to stockpile weapons.  We stopped being our neighbour’s keepers and stewards of our common home.  We have ravaged the garden of the earth with war and by our sins we have broken the heart of our heavenly Father, who desires us to be brothers and sisters.  We grew indifferent to everyone and everything except ourselves.  Now with shame we cry out: Forgive us, Lord!

Holy Mother, amid the misery of our sinfulness, amid our struggles and weaknesses, amid the mystery of iniquity that is evil and war, you remind us that God never abandons us, but continues to look upon us with love, ever ready to forgive us and raise us up to new life.  He has given you to us and made your Immaculate Heart a refuge for the Church and for all humanity.  By God’s gracious will, you are ever with us; even in the most troubled moments of our history, you are there to guide us with tender love.
We now turn to you and knock at the door of your heart.  We are your beloved children.  In every age you make yourself known to us, calling us to conversion.  At this dark hour, help us and grant us your comfort.   Say to us once more: “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”  You are able to untie the knots of our hearts and of our times.  In you we place our trust.  We are confident that, especially in moments of trial, you will not be deaf to our supplication and will come to our aid.

That is what you did at Cana in Galilee, when you interceded with Jesus and he worked the first of his signs.  To preserve the joy of the wedding feast, you said to him: “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3).   Now, O Mother, repeat those words and that prayer, for in our own day we have run out of the wine of hope, joy has fled, fraternity has faded.  We have forgotten our humanity and squandered the gift of peace.  We opened our hearts to violence and destructiveness.  How greatly we need your maternal help!

Therefore, O Mother, hear our prayer.

Star of the Sea, do not let us be shipwrecked in the tempest of war.
Ark of the New Covenant, inspire projects and paths of reconciliation.
Queen of Heaven, restore God’s peace to the world.
Eliminate hatred and the thirst for revenge, and teach us forgiveness.
Free us from war, protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons.
Queen of the Rosary, make us realize our need to pray and to love.
Queen of the Human Family, show people the path of fraternity.
Queen of Peace, obtain peace for our world.

O Mother, may your sorrowful plea stir our hardened hearts.  May the tears you shed for us make this valley parched by our hatred blossom anew.   Amid the thunder of weapons, may your prayer turn our thoughts to peace.  May your maternal touch soothe those who suffer and flee from the rain of bombs.  May your motherly embrace comfort those forced to leave their homes and their native land.   May your Sorrowful Heart move us to compassion and inspire us to open our doors and to care for our brothers and sisters who are injured and cast aside.

Holy Mother of God, as you stood beneath the cross, Jesus, seeing the disciple at your side, said: “Behold your son” (Jn 19:26).  In this way he entrusted each of us to you.  To the disciple, and to each of us, he said: “Behold, your Mother” (v. 27).   Mother Mary, we now desire to welcome you into our lives and our history.  At this hour, a weary and distraught humanity stands with you beneath the cross, needing to entrust itself to you and, through you, to consecrate itself to Christ.  The people of Ukraine and Russia, who venerate you with great love, now turn to you, even as your heart beats with compassion for them and for all those peoples decimated by war, hunger, injustice and poverty.

Therefore, Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine.  Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love.  Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world.  The “Fiat” that arose from your heart opened the doors of history to the Prince of Peace.   We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more.  To you we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world.

Through your intercession, may God’s mercy be poured out on the earth and the gentle rhythm of peace return to mark our days.   Our Lady of the “Fiat”, on whom the Holy Spirit descended, restore among us the harmony that comes from God.  May you, our “living fountain of hope”, water the dryness of our hearts.  In your womb Jesus took flesh; help us to foster the growth of communion.  You once trod the streets of our world; lead us now on the paths of peace.  Amen.