BERGEN, Norway - In Saint Paul Parish in Bergen, Norway, we have just started a Montfort Group with the Norwegian name: Maria, Alle Hjerters Dronning (Mary, Queen of All Hearts). During the first half of this year, we were six women who, one by one, got to know Montfort and his True Devotion to Mary and each one made the consecration to Jesus through Mary in the Holy Spirit. One of the priests in our parish, Dom Gregor, was the one who led us to the discovery of Montfort and the consecration, and as we now officially have formed a group, we are truly happy and thankful that he was also appointed as our spiritual director. We also discovered that a few women in our parish had done already the consecration years earlier, so, we are now a group of nine women.
Our consecration began at the same time as we started in the parish with First Saturday Devotions to Our Lady of Fatima. Some of us also went on a pilgrimage to Fatima with Dom Gregor on the 13th of October this year. This was indeed an inspiring moment for us and at the same time, I felt thrilled to meet and greet Father Carlos M. VIEIRA, SMM at the SMM community in Fatima.
Our growing group of consecrated people started this autumn and we decided to meet once a month for ongoing formation with our spiritual director. This autumn, we also invited adults and parents during family gatherings and taught about Mary`s role in the history of salvation, Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort, the True Devotion to Mary and the consecration. However, we just invited those who are ready to start the 33-day preparation. In fact, fourteen new people have now started. During their preparation time, we invited them for weekly gatherings with prayer and teaching by our spiritual director, Dom Gregor, and we are looking forward to their consecration day on the 8th of December.
In addition, I wanted to make it easier for people to start the preparation, so before this group started, I decided to translate the preparation texts to Norwegian and made a booklet of it. As a catechist, I find it also important that the children learn to be devoted to Mary, and when they are ready for it, they can also do the consecration. I also translated a children’s consecration book which I hope will be much in use in the coming time. Other people even helped with the translation, and one of the women in our group did a great work with the graphic design. Hence, with good teamwork and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the two booklets were made and finished just in time before we really needed them.
Indeed, we want to spread this spirituality to make Our Blessed Mother Mary more known and loved, so that Jesus could be more known and loved and through Him, we can live worthy as children of God the Father. We do hope and think that the booklets and presentations we have made might be useful. It is also our desire to translate more of Montfort`s literature. Besides, people from other parts of Norway have already asked us to come to teach and have a talk. We also cooperate closely with EWTN Norway / St. Rita radio and will make TV programs about Mary and consecration for them.
In conclusion, on behalf of our group, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to Fr. Arnold SUHARDI, SMM, who has helped us in so many practical and spiritual ways during the process of starting this group. We are all beginners in Montfortian spirituality, but we have got a burning flame of love of the Holy Spirit for the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. Likewise, we look forward to meeting other associates of the Montfortian Family, priests and brothers of the Montfort Missionaries and members of the Association of Mary Queen of All Hearts. Pray for us as we pray for you!
Reidun Jofrid KLEPPESTRAND
Catechist and Coordinator
Maria, Alle Hjerters Dronning
Saint Paul Parish, Bergen, Norway