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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

102717 holy trinity maryCHARLOTTE — For Holy Trinity Middle School, this is a special year of drawing closer to Our Blessed Mother.
School chaplain Father Joseph Matlak sees middle school as an especially valuable time for students and their families to seek the protection, blessing and example of Our Lady.
Special liturgies, events and programs have been planned, including the celebration of Marian feasts throughout the year, a different family praying the rosary each day for the school, retreats for students focused on Our Lady, and the “Queen of Heaven” Bible Study for parents.
To mark the year, a beautiful new statue of Our Lady of Fatima was commissioned for the school. This gift from a group of parents was hand-carved and painted in Fatima, Portugal. The statue was blessed after a rosary for parents, and crowned at Mass on Oct. 13, the centennial of the “miracle of the sun.”

After Mass, Father Matlak consecrated the school to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He called on the students to give “God their hearts … and be genuine” in their prayer and sacrifices. Retelling the story of the miracle at Fatima, he encouraged the students to learn four lessons from it: “Make the best Holy Communion you can. Pray the rosary every day. Offer little sacrifices for the conversion of others. Consecrate yourselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” He concluded by noting, “(What you do for God) doesn’t have to be huge. It has to be real. Then you will learn to experience God’s peace. And if each one of you experiences God’s peace, the whole world will be changed – one middle school student at a time.”

102717 Holy Trinity consecrated to MaryParent Catherine Farley expressed a sentiment shared by many about this year of focus on the Blessed Virgin Mary: “As our children begin to soar more and more on their own, I feel a comfort in knowing that first and foremost, God is present in their lives, but that they also have a spiritual mother to guide them.”

— Darby McClatchy, Special to the Catholic News Herald . Darby McClatchy is the communications coordinator for St. Gabriel Church.