New Marian Feast May 21
Pope Francis decrees day honoring Mary, Mother of the Church
May 17, 2018
VATICAN CITY (CNS)—The Catholic Church doesn’t often add new celebrations to its pretty full liturgical calendar, but in a month of May crownings and special rosaries, a new feast day will honor Mary, Mother of the Church on May 21. 
Pope Francis decreed that Latin-rite Catholics around the world will mark the feast of “the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church” on the Monday after Pentecost each year.
He approved the decree announcing the new feast after “having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety,” the decree said.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, said the celebration should take precedence over any other possible liturgy that day and the celebration should begin this year. 
Gloria Falcao Dodd, director of academic programs for the International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton, Ohio, wrote a paper about this Marian title in 2006. 
Her research shows that a bishop in the 1100s referred to Mary as Mother of the Church. Pope Leo XIII, in his 1898 encyclical on the rosary, also said that Mary at Pentecost was “in very truth, the mother of the church, the teacher and queen of the Apostles.”
That idea of Mary interceding for the Church, as a mother does for her children, is important for Catholics to consider, especially as this new feast falls so soon after Mother’s Day, said Dodd. 
She also said it is key to understand its placement right after Pentecost, when at the original Pentecost, Mary “did what a mother would do — she prayed with and for her children in the upper room.” 
The Gospel reading for the feast, which technically is called a “memorial,” recounts Jesus entrusting Mary to His disciples as their mother.