Just over two months after he consecrated the Archdiocese of San Francisco to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Oct. 7, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will do the same for Marin Catholic High School on Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Marin Catholic president Tim Navone told Catholic San Francisco that the consecration of the Kentfield school to Mary is the result of a “confluence” of Marian events and activities that followed the archdiocesan consecration on Oct. 7. These include a 33-day “personal consecration” journey the school’s leadership team undertook together in early November and the recent completion of an outdoor Marian grotto.
“If there was ever a time to consecrate Marin Catholic to the Immaculate Heart of Mary it is right now,” Navone said.
A Marian grotto in the school courtyard has been a longtime “dream of all dreams” for Navone, who said that a gift from an anonymous “angel benefactor” last year finally made the dream a reality. The donor, “a faithful Marin County Catholic,” told Navone he appreciated the school’s undiluted Catholic identity and vision and paid for artful outdoor installations of the Stations of the Cross and scriptural verse unveiled this year.
On the day of consecration the archbishop will bless the new grotto at 7 a.m. A traditional mariachi band central to many Guadalupe celebrations will then lead the school community to the on-campus chapel for Mass after which they will gather for the prayers of consecration.
About a month after the consecration of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, principal Chris Valdez set off on a walking pilgrimage of Spain’s Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James). Valdez’s three-month journey inspired the rest of the leadership team to walk in “spiritual unity” with him for part of that time linked by the same small paperback book.
On the recommendation of a Marin Catholic campus minister, Valdez packed “33 Days to Morning Glory; A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Consecration” (Marian Press, 2011), by Father Michael E. Gaitley, MIC. The book prescribes 33 days of spiritual reflection on the Marian devotions of St. Louis de Montfort, St. John Paul, St. Teresa of Kolkata and others and prepares participants for “personal consecration.”
Navone said there was something powerful about the leadership team and their pilgrimage principle “reading and reflecting upon the same things each day.”
The school soon extended the “33 Days” program of personal preparation for consecration to the school community at large; faculty and parents, students and staff.
“The quickest way for graces to be poured onto the world is for more people to dedicate their lives to Mary,” Navone said. “There is nothing more you would want as the head of the school than to see that happen for your community.”
Full story at Catholic San Francisco.