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Fr. Michael Gaitley speaks about 33 Days to Morning Glory Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Nov. 07, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

fr. michael gaitley
Fr. Michael Gaitley blesses the crowd at his All Saints Day talk on consecration to Jesus through Mary at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- Some attendees called it one of the largest crowds they had ever seen at the Bishop O'Connor Center in Madison.

Hundreds packed the auditorium on Friday, Nov. 1 -- All Saints Day -- to hear Fr. Michael Gaitley talk about the most recent push for everyone to consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary.

Father Gaitley is the director of the Association of Marian Helpers, a spiritual benefit society with more than one million members, as well as a member of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. His popularity has grown over the last two years as more people are reading his books Consoling the Heart of Jesus and 33 Days to Morning Glory, an “updated version” of St. Louis de Montfort's Preparation to Total Consecration.

Mass and holy hour

The evening, which began with Mass and a holy hour, was presented by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Diocese of Madison and the Knights of Divine Mercy.

Fr. Rick Heilman, founder of the Knights of Divine Mercy, presided at the Mass to an similarly-packed chapel in the Bishop O’Connor Center.

During his homily, he spoke about the communion of saints, calling it "an amazing gift."

"Tonight, I feel strong," he said, being in community with so many "brothers and sisters who believe what the Church teaches."

He talked about a recurring theme -- Pope Francis calling the Church a "field hospital" after a spiritual battle, making everyone "medics for Christ." He said this can be done by "putting on the armor" through Confession and other sacraments that give us the "opportunity to receive that supernatural strength."

Father Heilman again expressed the importance of the community and communion of saints, saying, "We need to find a way to become united. We need to get on the same page. And where is that page? It's in front of the throne of God. It's alongside the saints waiting for us to call out to them."

Mass was followed by a chanted evening prayer, led by the Knights of Divine Mercy schola choir, as well as opportunities for Confession.

Father Gaitley speaks

Hundreds of Mass and holy hour attendees, as well as new arrivals, made their way to the Bishop O'Connor Center's auditorium for Father Gaitley's talk.

Upon entering the auditorium, everyone was given a copy of Father Gaitley's 33 Days to Morning Glory to get them started on their own consecration to Jesus through Mary.

Father Gaitley began his part of the evening saying he "couldn't think of a better liturgical backdrop" than All Saints Day. He added he was giving a talk he had never given before, focusing on one saint to illustrate the power of consecration to Jesus through Mary.

The saint he chose was St. Maximilian Kolbe. St. Maximilian Kolbe is commonly known as the man who traded his life in a Nazi death camp during World War II so a father's life could be spared. Father Gaitley said St. Maximilian Kolbe also "led one of the largest pushes for Marian consecration in the history of the world."

St. Maximilian Kolbe's efforts

Father Gaitley outlined three points illustrating St. Maximilian Kolbe's efforts for consecration to Jesus through Mary.

First, he talked about St. Maximilian Kolbe's intensity, his desire to help everyone become a saint. Once St. Maximilian Kolbe learned about St. Louis de Montfort's consecration to Mary, called the "surest, easiest, shortest, and the most perfect means" to becoming a saint, he called it a "secret weapon for the world," a "shortcut to holiness." St. Maximilian Kolbe would dedicate his life to bringing people to Jesus through Mary.

A second point of emphasis was how St. Maximilian Kolbe’s strategy inspired others. By the end of the 1930s, his monastery had 800 friars and St. Maximilian Kolbe was publishing a magazine in his native Poland -- spreading information about the consecration -- that was outselling most newspapers at one million copies a month.

The third point was that St. Maximilian Kolbe's push for consecration prepared Poland for World War II. Father Gaitley said with a good part of the country on a path to sainthood, it prepared them for the "crosses" of the war. He added Mary helped the Poles be courageous as their country became war-torn.

New push for consecration

While St. Maximilian Kolbe's push for consecration was the largest, according to Father Gaitley, he said the one going on right now is the second-largest ever, and the largest since St. Maximilian Kolbe's.

Father Gaitley said "there's a sense of urgency right now . . . we recognize it and we can participate in it and bring others to it," calling it a "gift of mercy for our time."

With a humble reluctance, he talked about the book he wrote for Marian consecration, 33 Days to Morning Glory. He said it was "embarrassing" to talk about his own book because he called himself the "last person that should have written a book about the consecration to Mary."

He spoke about his own experiences doing the consecration more than a decade ago, and then slowing down in his dedication to Mary.

With prayers from novices in his community, and some rare free time, he wrote 33 Days to Morning Glory in 10 days, feeling Mary "gave him a gift" to share with everyone. His heart also healed in his rededication for Mary, which he called the "biggest miracle."

With the book on the shelves for a little less than two years, nearly two million copies are now in print. Father Gaitley called it a "bizarre phenomenon."

The 'perfect time'

Father Gaitley said now is the "perfect time" to consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary. He said the "culture of death is strangling our country right now."

He added Our Lady is trying to "bring Christ back there," saying she comes when things look hopeless.

Father Gaitley said there’s a "historical reason" for the new push to consecration. He said there's "something happening, something moving, something ahead," while no one knows specifically what is coming.

"Our Lady wants to be embracing all of us," he added.

After his talk, Father Gaitley spoke with attendees and signed copies of his books during a reception. The line to meet Father Gaitley stretched almost the entire length of the Bishop O'Connor Center's dining hall where the reception was held.

For more information about the Hearts Afire Parish Program Retreats for the New Evangelization(HAPP) and how to bring HAPP retreats to your parish, group, or diocese using Fr. Michael Gaitley's books and retreat materials for 33 Days to Morning Glory, Consoling the Heart of Jesus, and The One Thing Is Three, please contact LCM/HAPP Servant Leader:Marian Specialist Mary Litschauer at 715-539-3800 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or
LCM/HAPP Madison Marian Specialist Kim Neumaier at 608-212-6524 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information on 33 Days to Morning Glory and the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, visit www.TheDivineMercy.org

 
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