O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
and our own most gentle Queen and Mother,
look down in mercy upon England,
thy Dowry, and upon us all who greatly
hope and trust in thee.

Through thee it was that Jesus our Saviour
and our Hope was given unto the world;
and he hath given thee to us that we
might hope still more.

Plead for us thy children, whom thou
didst receive and accept at the foot
of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother.
Intercede for our separated brethren,
that they may be united with
us in the one true Fold. Pray for us all,
dear Mother,that by faith fruitful in good
works, we may all deserve to see and
praise God together with thee in our
heavenly home.

Conference Theme - 2017

The fact that this year’s Northern Catholic Conference falls during the centenary celebrations of Our Lady’s appearances at Fatima in 1917, it is fitting and appropriate that the conference be dedicated to Our Blessed Lady. The committee, therefore, decided that the theme for this year’s conference be ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord’ (Lk 1:46), the opening words of Mary’s song of praise, the Magnificat. As a model disciple and mother of Jesus, Mary’s praise of God in the Magnificat points us to the three basic functions of the human spirit. The first basic function of the human spirit is to Praise and worship God. As mother of the Bread of life and the Word of life come down from heaven Mary would counsel us all to love and worship Jesus in the Eucharist and in the scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to guide, govern and sanctify us as He did her because only then will we find our hearts bursting with praise of God as He deserves.

The second basic function of the human spirit is to Commune with others. God has made us relational by nature and so Mary, in visiting Elizabeth and singing the Magnificat in her presence, is teaching us that if we wish to grow in spiritual maturity we need to share with others what God is doing in our lives so that our faith is nourished and deepened. The greater and deeper our faith, the greater will be the effects when we come together to worship the Lord.

The third basic function of the human spirit is to Sustain life in the body. We are eternal beings because our souls are from God. From the moment of conception to the moment of death we are living human beings journeying through time and space. Mary in her Magnificat is showing us that the quality of our soul life in this world is dependent on us living in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Divine Will as she did.

When we do as she did we become radiant instruments of His presence!

We hope that this year’s Northern Catholic Conference will be a truly blessed and joy-filled occasion mirroring Mary’s heart-felt song of praise of God in the Magnificat.

God bless you all,
Fr. Pat Deegan,
Spiritual Director Northern Catholic Conference

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