MCHENRY—On March 21, images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary were enthroned at Montini Middle School, here, following an all-school Mass celebrated at St. Mary Parish by its pastor, Father David Austin.
Father Austin spoke of the enthronement of the two images as a matter of giving them “a special place, a special home” in the school.
At the end of Mass, he blessed the pictures, and students carried them in procession to their school, next door to the church.
The images were prominently displayed in the hallway just outside the school offices area.
The event welcomed Redemptorist Father William Gaffney, CSsR, and lay missionary Lisa Morris of the Sacred Heart Apostolate, Inc., who were providing a March 19-22 parish mission at St. Patrick Parish that week.
Entitled “Sacred Heart Mission: Building a Civilization of Love,” the mission promotes the hearts of Jesus and Mary as powerful helps to family life, and encourages families to enthrone the two heart-focused images in their own homes.
“I will bless every place in which an image of my heart is exposed and honored,” says one of 12 promises of this devotion, given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
A Visitation nun, she experienced visions of Christ beginning in the early 1670s. In the first revelation, according to the Catholic Encyclepedia, Jesus “made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His heart with all its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation.
“Jesus informed her that her mission was to establish the devotion to His Most Sacred Heart ...,” says the Sacred Heart Apostolate website.
The 12 promises are abundant blessings, secure refuge, final perseverance, the source and infinite ocean of mercy, comfort and peace.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was officially recognized and approved by Pope Clement XIII in 1765, 75 years after St. Margaret Mary’s death.
A couple of weeks prior to the middle school’s enthronement, Montini Elementary School, located a few blocks away at St. Patrick Parish, enthroned the images.
Last Dec. 8, Father Thomas Doyle, interim superintendent, consecrated Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart. With students and staff, he enthroned pictures outside of the school chapel. The school council has since named it the Sacred Hearts Chapel.
“Every classroom has adopted the Sacred Heart prayer,” says Cecilia Adams, music director at St. Patrick Parish who serves also at Montini School.
“Students have the prayer taped on their desks and will be starting and ending each class period with this prayer,” she said.
Nearly 20 families from all three McHenry parishes have asked to have the images enthroned in their homes, she added.
Father Godwin Asuquo, pastor at St. Patrick, says, “I remember this from growing up. Jesus and Mary were there in my family at all times. Together they got us through all the ups and downs of our journey. This is my prayer and vision for our families, thanks to this Lenten mission with the Sacred Heart.”