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ON DEC. 8, THE FEAST of the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger reconsecrated the Albany Diocese to Mary, its patroness, during a Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

It was also an occasion for Catholics to complete the "33 Days to Morning Glory" process of personal consecration to Mary.

"Consecration to Mary is a spiritual exercise through which we receive graces to strengthen our Catholic spirituality and our ability to better serve Jesus and His Church. When we participate in Marian consecration exercises, we strive to follow Mary's example -- her willingness to say "yes" to God's will and to trust in God's purpose and plan for her -- while receiving graces to dedicate ourselves totally to Christ in a way that consecrates us to Him," noted the Albany Diocese's website.

Here, Rev. David LeFort, vicar general of the Diocese and administrator of the cathedral, assists Bishop Scharfenberger in reciting the "Prayer of Consecration to Merciful Love" and Nadia Lakah of Immaculate Conception parish in Glenville recites the prayer with parishioners from across the Diocese.

See more photos in The Evangelist's print edition (call 518-453-6688 to subscribe). Learn more about Marian consecration at www.rcda.org. (Nate Whitchurch photos)