05.08.12 - The members of the Institute of the Incarnate Word rejoiced with Our Lady of Lujan in the first solemnity celebration since her installation as official Patroness of the Institute this past December.
On December 19th, 2011 the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments informed General Superior of the Institute, Fr. Carlos Walker, that the Virgin of Lujan had been decreed the Patroness of the Institute. This confirmation of the Vatican signified a "new reality" for the Institute; as described by Fr. Walker, it entails, among other things, that Our Lady of Lujan's feast day becomes a solemnity for the Institute.
On May 7th, the Religious of the formation houses of both the IVE and SSVM gathered at the Fulton Sheen House of Formation for adoration and matins, solemnly welcoming the vigil of Our Lady of Lujan. Fr. Javier Ibarra preached the vigil service. He encouraged the religious to imitate the virtues of Our Lady of Lujan and described the Providence of God, who knew that this Virgin would be taken as Patroness of a religious order and spread across the world. After the conclusion of the service, all headed downstairs for a small feast in the seminary hall.
May 8th marked the day of the solemnity. The religious traveled to St. Jerome's Parish in the Bronx, NY, for a Mass offered by His Eminence, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick. Our Lady of Lujan was specially enthroned on the Church's high altar for all to venerate. In his homily, His Eminence described the Virgin Mary's "Yes" to God, her fiat, contraposing it to the "No" of Eve. He urged everyone to continually say "Yes" to God's will, despite mankind's tendency to too often deny Him. During the Mass, the ten novices of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara consecrated themselves to Our Lady of Lujan, following the method of St. Luis de Montefort. Also during the Mass, in a special gift of Our Lady, twenty-four laity officially entered the 3rd Order of the Institute.
Following the Mass, St. Jerome's hosted a chicken and pasta dinner for the Mass-goers, with the religious offering a variety of entertainment - from poetry, to dueling harmonicas - in honor of Our Lady.
As the solemnity of Our Lady of Lujan draws to a close, may we all place ourselves one more time totally in her maternal hands, commending ourselves to her powerful intercession. As Blessed John Paul II said, "as Motherly Mediatrix, Mary presents our desires to Christ, our supplications, and transmits to us the divine gifts, interceding continually in our favor." May we never fail to turn to her!
Our Lady of Lujan, pray for us!
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