Looking for a great new program for your parish or small group? Hot off the press this past Divine Mercy Sunday, “Hearts Afire Parish Based Programs for the New Evangelization” (HAPP for short) was launched by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. Fr. Michael is no stranger to Columbus. You may remember him from our 2011 conference and or as the retreat master of our first Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference Retreat last August. He is an amazing young priest who has the Holy Spirit flowing in a very profound way! I have know Fr. Mike since college and his work has had a significant impact on my spiritual life. I had the privilege of piloting this first study “33 Days to Morning Glory – A Do-It Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration” last November and December with 42 women from 10 parishes in our diocese. The response was phenomenal! The program consists of a short daily reading, pondering the material with a study guide and weekly discussions with video presentations by Fr. Gaitley.
Whether Marian Consecration is a new concept to you or you are ready to renew your Marian Consecration, this program is for you!! The website touts “The “surest, easiest, shortest, and the most perfect means” to becoming a saint is easy to understand and uncomplicated in this 33 day preparation for consecration to Jesus through Mary.” I have done the traditional Louis de Montfort Marian Consecration in the past, but after completing Fr. Gaitley’s new book, I actually understand what Marian Consecration is all about!! You spend 33 days learning about 4 Marian Giants – St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximillian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa and Blessed Pope John Paul II. (Those of you who attended our 2012 conference had the blessing of hearing Kelly Wahlquist, the director of the HAPP program, give a brief description of the book – click here to listen.)
I know hundreds of people who have completed this study in the pilot phase. They all have told me how life transforming Marian Consecration has been their faith life! In fact, by word of mouth alone. over 1100 people consecreated themselves to Jesus through Mary this past March! But don’t just believe me. Click here to see Christina Klein, the Columbus Catholic Women’s Conference Founder and Board Chair give her witness of the program with Fr. Michael Gaitley and Fr. Joe Roesch on EWTN during the Divine Mercy pre-show.
This book is the first stage of the Hearts Afire program, which is meant to “rekindle a fire of enthusiasm for living and spreading the faith.” Following 33 Days, the program then leads into Fr. Gaitley’s popular book “Consoling the Heart of Jesus – A Do-It Yourself Retreat Based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.” To learn how to bring this to your parish, visit http://www.allheartsafire.org