Day 3: Novena in Preparation to Celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption

As we prepare to celebrate our patronal feast, Mary Assumed into Heaven, each day of our novena clergy of the Archdiocese of Cape Town will offer reflections on Our Lady.

In this reflection for Monday, 9 August, Fr Anstey Kay OFM Cap,  reflects on Mary as Mother of the Church.

This video is also available on the Archdiocese of Cape Town’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Please share these daily reflections on your parish WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms.

The text of the video is provided below, especially for those who are deaf.

Mary (Assumed into Heaven), Mother of the Church

Br Anstey Lawrence Kay OFM Cap

(Submitted 30 July 2021; please note that this written transcript is not an exact reflection of the video presentation.)

Welcome brothers and sisters to this novena reflection in preparation for the celebration the Assumption of Mary, Patroness of South Africa. Today, I would like to share with you a little thought about Mary, as Mother of the Church… I read to you from the Book of Samuel, chapter 1, verse 24-27, (called the Consecration of Samuel): 

Oh my lord, as my soul lives, I am the woman who stood beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted the request that I made of him. 28 Therefore, I have dedicated him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he shall be dedicated to the Lord.” So, they worshiped the Lord there.

My dear brothers and sisters, we can see from this short piece of scripture how Hanna is a figure of Mary the mother of Jesus. From this, we get a brief sense of what motherhood means… and it is as the best of mothers know, a mother’s heart’s desire to want the best for the children.

Before we turn to Mary, under yet another holy title, like mother of the Church, let us stop to appreciate what the simplest of mother’s are wanting for their children today… as our children seek a decent education, opportunities to work, as they struggle with hardship, like poverty, addiction as well as physical and mental illness… there is so much, our mothers could pray about… 

If you can appreciate the struggle of mothers today… then as you bow your head in humble prayer… be wise to also pray looking up… up into the heavens. Your life, and the life we hope for, will only begin to be renewed, when we know our destination… Learn to know your destination, and know too where you are starting from. Yes, on this fragile earth we can rightly be frustrated about where we are at, among the many victims of a pandemic, but look up… for where Mary is we hope to follow… to conceive in your minds the highest virtue ‘personified’, is to conceive of her who was conceived immaculately… Mary’s prayer, does not end with the Magnificat, praising God for her Son, the Christ… we are by faith, her spiritual children, and she prays for us too. 

Consider the chaos of our life and times… and begin the reform this world needs, by beginning to look up… Identify the Mother, and motherhood society has rejected… Look up to the virtues, that wish to be reclaimed by spoilt and wayward children… Be proud not to be spiritual orphans… I shall never forget the words, of the late Archbishop, Lawrence Henry, he was visiting St Mary of the Angels in Athlone once… and as a I little boy I heard him preach these words… “The Angels, call Mary, Queen of Heaven, but are we not yet happier to call her Mother.”

May Almighty God bless us, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Posted in Assumption Novena.


  1. Thank you Anstey OFM.Cap for your lovely presentation on the loveliest of all creatures next to her
    Son. So wonderful you remembered Abp Lawrence inspired thought. Indeed , the Spirit helps us to rightly call Mary blesse. Praying for your ministry and the Kay family,
    Fr Sean

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