Catholics have always turned instinctively for help to the Mother of God in times of need. And so, in 2012, we turn to Our Lady for help. Many of the values that shaped our country from the beginning seem to be at risk. Pope Benedict XVI and the American bishops have noted the erosion of religious freedom in the United States, the first value guaranteed by the Constitution.
The "Novena to the Mother of God for the Nation" on pages C1-C4 will remind us of some of the central truths of the faith, in particular, the incarnation, passion, death and resurrection of the Lord and Mary’s unique role in our salvation. It will be, in a way, a catechism lesson that challenges us to a deeper conversion to Christ and a more generous life of charity.
The proximity of the novena to the 2012 presidential election will also offer an opportunity to pray for all of our government officials and seek divine assistance in the elections.