Bishop Ron Hicks will join Pope Francis in the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Fri., March 25 – the Solemnity of the Annunciation – at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet.
The 11 a.m. Mass will coincide with Pope Francis’ Mass at 5 p.m. Rome time.
“I wholeheartedly unite with Pope Francis in this act of consecration,” Bishop Hicks said. “I urge all Catholics of the Diocese of Joliet to join me in prayers for peace for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine.”
Bishop Hicks is also inviting all priests of the diocese to concelebrate the Mass, if they so desire. The Mass will be livestreamed on the diocesan YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/GI5IUscepBM at 11 a.m. Friday.
The Holy See press office on March 15 announced Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25 at St. Peter’s Basilica. In concert with the pope, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, apostolic almoner, will carry out the consecration in Fatima, Portugal. Pope Francis on March 6 sent Cardinal Krajewski to Poland so he could gain entry to neighboring Ukraine to promote peace.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, escalating a conflict between the two countries that began in 2014. More than 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced from their homes since the invasion began, with more than 3.4 million fleeing the country, according to data collected by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.