by Ana Franco-Guzman
AVE MARIA, Fla. (CNS) — For Curtis Martin, founder and CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, “It’s all grace.”
He was describing the apostolate’s consecration to Mary June 13 during its five weeks of new staff training at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria.
The act of consecration came during the celebration of Mass at Ave Maria Church, followed by a rosary procession by 600 people. Participants walked with the World Apostolate of Fatima’s statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
“We want to make a consecration to Our Lord in a new and powerful way through the intercession of Our Lady. With special emphasis on Our Lady of Guadalupe and Fatima because of the special significance which they hold for their new evangelization,” Martin told Catholic News Service.
The purpose of the consecration was to “petition assistance for a deeper sanctification of missionaries and staff and for a special blessing of their missionary work and the apostolate as a whole,” according to FOCUS.
“The consecration to Mary will help me as a missionary because it is a beautiful way to enter into the mission of FOCUS and to know that our lady is on our side and that she will guide and protect us on our mission,” said Hunter Hass, 22, who is from Minnesota’s Twin Cities and is a new FOCUS missionary attending the training.
FOCUS’ new staff training is done every year at Ave Maria University.
The consecration, Martin said, “is an organization-wide deepening of commitment to Our Lord and to Our Lady that will be an abiding consecration.” He said the apostolate with renew its commitment to Jesus and Mary June 13 and Dec. 12 every year.
June 13 is the anniversary of the second apparition of Mary to three little shepherd children in Portugal. This year marks the centenary of Mary appearing to the three children in a field near Fatima, north of Lisbon. She appeared six times. The first time was May 13, 1917, as they pastured their sheep. Her last appearance to the children was Oct. 13, 1917.
Dec. 12 is feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego twice near what is today Mexico City, on Dec. 9 and Dec. 12 in 1531.
Martin noted that Mary also is known by the title of “Morning Star.” She is “the star comes up before the sun comes up,” he explained. “In the daytime, you can see the sun but at night you can see the stars, which are many miles away from us. So, we think that by bringing Jesus through Mary on college campuses that light is going to shine very powerfully.”
Jimmy Harrison, 22, a FOCUS missionary from Idaho, told CNS “that our Blessed Mother is our mother that we can always rely on and I’m not saying that we replace our earthly mothers with Mary. . . . [But] our Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfection of motherhood.”