The Archdiocese of Baltimore is presenting its second Rosary Congress Oct. 7-13 as a way of encouraging people to pray for peace, grow in faith and develop a deeper relationship with Christ.
The event commemorates the 101st anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s appearance to three small shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. Mary promised that if the world would repent, follow Christ and pray the rosary daily, peace would follow.
Hosted by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, the Rosary Congress will include Masses, spiritual talks, opportunities for confession, perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and a Marian Sacred Music Concert in memory of Monsignor Arthur Valenzano, former rector of the Baltimore Basilica.
The rosary will be prayed every hour on the hour.
“I believe it is through this kind of prayer that we will change our city, our world and our Church,” said Father James Boric, current rector of the Baltimore Basilica.
Dawn Walsh, chairwoman of the Rosary Congress, noted that 10 dioceses around the nation will be holding Rosary Congresses this year.
“It’s incumbent upon us to take up the standard to lead in invoking heaven to intercede for the problems that we are experiencing in the world today,” she said. “That’s what I’m most excited about – publicly coming together, acknowledging Our Lady’s intercession to help us with the problems of our time.”
Walsh noted that Catholic school students have been invited to pray the rosary and listen to a talk about Our Lady of Fatima by Father Boric at 9 a.m. on Oct. 10 at the basilica. Other featured speakers throughout the Congress will included Father Chris Alar, a member of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, and Dr. John Mark Miravalle, a professor of theology at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg.
Father Hector Mateus-Ariza will celebrate a Spanish Mass at 7 p.m. Oct. 11, and Father Michael DeAscanis, pastor of St. Philip Neri in Linthicum, will join Father Boric in celebrating the closing Mass at 11 a.m. Oct. 13.
The concept of a Rosary Congress originated in Poland in 1978. Poles observed seven days of continual eucharistic adoration and praying the rosary in the hope that newly-elected Pope John Paul II would receive permission to visit the communist nation, he said. Their prayers were answered.
A Rosary Congress was held in Washington, D.C. in 1988, with other congresses held in various cities throughout the nation ever since.