In response to the call of the Most Reverend Bishop Victor Bendico, D.D. (Bishop of the Diocese of Baguio) to the lay faithful to have a diocesan-wide consecration on December 08, 2019, Fr. Jeffrey Habado, the Overall Coordinator of the Formation Commission of Family and Life of the Diocese of Baguio, has disseminated an invitation to all the parishes, quasi-parishes, gimongs, clergy and consecrated persons of the city to join the Totus Tuus Journey by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, a 33-day pilgrimage of faith that is primarily meant for everyone who wish to experience the process of preparation for the consecration to Jesus Christ, through the hands of Mary.
The Totus Tuus Journey (TTJ) took place at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, Bakakeng, Diocese of Baguio with a total of 253 lay faithful from different parishes around the diocese last November 05, 2019. Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Habado warmly welcomed the delegates from the Montfort Missionaries, the Montfort Fathers, Rev. Fr. Federick Yumang, SMM, Rev. Fr. Richard Magararu, SMM, and Rev. Fr. Benjie Notarte, SMM, together with the four lay associates from the Association of Mary Queen of All Hearts, Bro. Abraham dela Torre, Sis. Marivic Sayco, Sis. Pamfila Aguilon, and Sis. Jackielou Foster. Fr. Jeff led everyone in praying the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet in the chapel with the rest of the attendees. Astounded with the huge number of attendees, Fr. Jeff has decided to hold the 8:30 AM Eucharistic Celebration in the seminar hall, together with Fr. Fed as the mass presider, alongside with Fr. Richard, and Fr. Benjie. When the mass ended, Fr. Fed, who became acquainted easily with the audience, familiarized everyone with St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort’s life story of sainthood and his holy slavery and devotion to the Blessed Mother. From that point, Fr. Richard was then introduced to the crowd for the introduction to the Totus Tuus Journey. He first highlighted what Christian life is all about. For St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, Christian life is more than a man or woman of prayer or someone who lives his or her baptism. He emphasized that the real significance of Christian life is a call for us to share and participate in the life of Christ. Fr. Richard also discussed the kind of true love that St. Louis-Marie de Montfort has for Mary, a true love that seeks to love rightly, and devotion to the Blessed Virgin is not an option, but obligatory. Therefore, when we desire to love Mary, we have to love her and be consecrated entirely through her.
When lunchtime was over and the participants gathered back into the hall, Fr. Fed started Day 1 of the pilgrimage of faith. Covering the 33 consecutive days as suggested by Montfort, the participants will spend 12 days in emptying themselves of the spirit of the world, 7 days to obtain knowledge of their selves and sorrow for their sins, 7 days to acquire an understanding of the Blessed Virgin, and 7 days to better understand Jesus Christ. It was a lovely moment to witness the large audience being so concentrated in the first stage of deepening sessions. Being optimistic and confident for their consecration, Fr. Jeff announced that a full-day recollection will be scheduled on December 7, 2019, to religiously prepare them for their diocesan-wide consecration the next day, the Eucharistic Celebration of which the Most Rev. Bishop Victor Bendico, D.D. will preside.
This wonderful encounter manifested that we were being accompanied by the Blessed Virgin. The Totus Tuus Journey was fruitfully embarked on the diocese, faithfully believing that these 253 participants will be committed to the journey that will allow them to be transformed by the process, and trusting that this journey moves in them the humble attitude of translating the process into action, through the hands of Mary.
It follows that we consecrate ourselves at one and the same time to Mary and to Jesus. We give ourselves to Mary because Jesus chose her as the perfect means to unite himself to us and unite us to him. We give ourselves to Jesus because he is our last end. Since he is our Redeemer and our God we are indebted to him for all that we are.
- Jackie Foster