Dominican Gathers for Feast of the Annunciation Mass

Mass participants with Fr. John Restrepo, OP before Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Annunciation

Friday morning, the Dominican community gathered at Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Annunciation, presided by school chaplain Fr. John Restrepo, OP.  At the same time, Archbishop Gregory Aymond joined in prayer with Pope Francis who in Rome was presiding over the annual “24 Hours for the Lord” Lenten penitential service in St. Peter’s Basilica, as the Church marked the Feast of the Annunciation. Pope Francis prayed The Act of Consecration of humanity, especially of Russia and Ukraine, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Pope consecrates Russia & Ukraine: ‘Spiritual act of trust amid cruel war’ – Vatican News

Archbishop Aymond repeated the consecration at the 5:00 p.m. Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor and on Sunday, March 27 at both the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Masses at St. Louis Cathedral.

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary [25 March 2022] | Francis (


Student Preacher Reflection, Feast of the Annunciation Mass

By Annie Leingang ’22


The Annunciation – the day that the Angel Gabrielle was sent by God to appear to Mary. The day that Mary had a choice. The day that she said yes. The angel told Mary, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with You.” Mary did not know what sort of news was awaiting her. Then, the angel said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for You have found favor with God.” He told Mary that she will bear a Son, and His name will be Jesus.

As women, it is in our nature to be able to bear children. The moment of the Annunciation highlighted the fact that we are made to receive. Women can sometimes be portrayed as weak or vulnerable, but we can look to Mary for the reassurance that we are strong and willing daughters of Christ. While Mary was simply a young and unmarried woman, she expressed her love for God so much so, that people are now inspired by her to trust more fully in God’s plan. Mary’s yes to God allowed Him to use her for His plan, and this decision brought new beginnings to the world. Even if Mary was terrified of the task God was asking of her, she still fully surrendered.

It can be scary to open up to God because we don’t know what will happen, but that’s the point of trust. By coming to Jesus in daily prayer, we can sit and receive Him. You don’t have to do anything special, just sit and receive. You have about three weeks left of Lent, and I ask that each of you show up to daily prayer for at least ten minutes every day. You are going to fall in love with it. Just put the social media away and talk to God.

Mary sacrificed worldly distractions to be with God, and she brought Jesus into the world because of her dedication to God. The thing about putting in effort with God is that you can’t experience His goodness if you’re not open to it. When my great-grandpa was recently sick, he was having some near-death visions. A week or so before his death, he exclaimed to my grandma and great-aunt that he was seeing a baby boy on the floor crying and that the boy needed help. No one reacted because there was not actually a baby boy in the room. The weekend my pawpaw died, I was so upset and angry with God that I didn’t want to go to Mass on Sunday. I knew that God wanted me to show up, but I didn’t want to say yes. I wanted to say no. With a lot on my mind, I went anyway. I noticed that I was thinking about anything but pawpaw in Mass, simply because I didn’t know what to say to God. The second I started thinking about pawpaw’s death and praying about it, there

was an irritating noise in the back of the church that was distracting me. I turned around to see a crying baby boy. While immediate chills covered my body, I knew that pawpaw was with me in that moment. That’s the closest I have ever felt to God, and I almost missed the opportunity to experience that because I didn’t want to say yes.

That’s what I want for you when I tell you to show up to prayer. If I didn’t go to Mass, I wouldn’t have been with my pawpaw again. If you reject God from your heart, you will miss some amazing opportunities to know Him. We don’t have to be perfect like Mary; she is an example for us. The Annunciation is a lesson for all of us to just say yes. All you need to do is open your heart and let Jesus be the source of your words and actions.

Dominican personnel gather after Mass to make their own consecration to Mary

Also on Friday, several Dominican personnel members made their own consecration to Mary and enrolled their names in the Book of Consecration, following thirty-three days of prayer which began on February 20. After Mass, Fr. John helped mark the occasion by blessing participants’ sacramentals including Miraculous Medals and rosaries.

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