This article includes excerpts from the writings of Father Richard Heilman, Pastor of St. Mary of Pine Bluff Parish in Wisconsin, and spiritual advisor of CEMA, whose teaching blog can be found a http://www.RomanCatholicMan.com
Recently, at an online meeting of the leadership team of the Coalition of Eucharistic and Marian Apostolates, Father Richard Heilman emphasized the providential timing and spiritual power of this coming month of May. It follows the culmination of many efforts this spring by Catholics to pray in extraordinary ways during the COVID crisis. As the economic effects of the pandemic continue to paralyze businesses and ministries across America, Catholic professionals, entrepreneurs, ministry leaders, and more can find hope in the powerful feasts and spiritual opportunities in May 2020.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that they are choosing to join Canada in a Re-Consecration to Mary, Mother of the Church on May 1. Any of the faithful can unite their hearts with that consecration. Mary’s month begins with St. Joseph’s feast, that providentially falls on a First Friday, devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. May 31 completes the month with the feast of Pentecost, when God originally ignited the Church with the power of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost then opens the door to the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church and Mediatrix of all Graces on June 1. The month of May 2020 looks to be a spiritual mother-load of opportunities for grace.
In a recent article, Father Heilman shared, “With increased fear and uncertainty growing, on February 28, I put out a call to all prayer warriors (60,000+), asking everyone to join in a 54 Day Three Hearts Novena. With so much emphasis in 2020 on St. Joseph, and with a growing concern over the future of economic security, I thought it was appropriate to conclude on May 1, which is the Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker.”
“I stated in February, Most of us have prayed many beautiful devotions – and even consecrated ourselves – to the Sacred of Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In so many ways, this year seems to be the year we are to call out to St. Joseph. Now is the time to add the “Third Heart” for supernatural protection and provision. As head of the home, St. Joseph points to the role of all fathers to be “protectors and providers.” Many are feeling unsafe and “unprotected” with the spread of this “new virus.” Also, worries grow about future “provision” with economic uncertainty on the rise. In the midst of this worldwide alarm, let’s call upon all “Three Hearts” to come to our aid by adding, this year, the Chaste Heart of St. Joseph.”
“Little did I know that the start date (Monday, March 9) would come to be known as “Black Monday,” as it was the worst drop in the Stock Market since the Great Recession in 2008. It would continue to drop throughout the month of March, while the unemployment rate sky-rocketed to over 26 million jobs lost (to date), as most “non-essential” businesses were forced to close under a national quarantine.
Father Heilman continued, “Moreover, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955 as a response to May Day (May 1) celebrations sponsored by Socialists and Communists. Pope Pius XII expressed the hope that this feast would accentuate the dignity of labor. With increased government control deployed during this pandemic, modern advocates for socialism and communism are salivating about the potential of a “new normal” of government control.”
Father Heilman concluded, “What we did not understand, at the time of conceiving the prayer campaign, was that the last day of our 54 Day Three Hearts Novena – May 1, 2020 – would see an amazing convergence of “All Three Hearts.” The convergence of May 1, 2020 is, “Our ‘Spiritual D-Day.’” Father Heilman invites everyone to try out the St. Joseph’s Holy Cloak 30 Day Novena during the month of May and make May 1st the start of an exceptionally powerful month of intercession for the souls, lives, and livelihoods of people all across America and beyond.