Bishop Koenig will join Pope Francis at noon on Friday, March 25, in special prayer as he consecrates Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, followed by the 12:10 p.m. Mass, at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington.
In a March 17 letter to Archbishop José Gomez, archbishop of Los Angeles and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, said, “In the context of the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, will lead an Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25th next. The Holy Father intends to invite each bishop … together with his priests, to join in this act of consecration, if possible, at an hour corresponding to 5 p.m. Rome time.” The official invitation from the pope and the text of the prayer of consecration to be used, will be sent to bishops around the world in coming days, Archbishop Pierre said.
The prayer service and Mass at the local cathedral, located at Sixth and N. West Streets in the historic Quaker Hill section of Wilmington, are open to the public and will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Wilmington’s YouTube channel, YouTube.com/DioceseofWilm.
March 25 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, a day commemorating the announcement of the angel to the Virgin Mary that she would become the mother of Christ (Luke 1:26-38).
Last April, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had appointed Bishop Koenig the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington. He was ordained a bishop and installed as the 10th bishop of Wilmington on July 13, 2021.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 27 schools serving Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.