Be a Part of Something Big — Join Us Sept. 30 for the Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage
This pilgrimage promises to set forth the substance of the Church’s belief as passed down from age to age — with Christ at the center, fired by genuine devotion
In recent years, we’ve witnessed a growing interest in monuments of our past. Whether it’s traditional prayer practices or different liturgical expressions, many Catholics are laying claim to their heritage with renewed zeal. One hallmark of this recovery is the reinvigorated appreciation for the Most Holy Rosary.
For many years, the Rosary was discouraged in certain circles as insufficiently Christocentric, potentially superstitious or inhumanly rote. Catholics were encouraged to move on from their medieval past and to find suitable replacements. Unsurprisingly (to those who pray the Rosary) though, few found any adequate substitute. And as the years slipped on, the Rosary roared back. And it continues to do so today.
A brief visit to the local parish (or a quick search on the internet) gives ready evidence of this transformation. Rosary groups congregate before and after Masses, each with their own reasons for coming together. Videos featuring individuals just praying the Rosary have hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Explanations of its history, mechanics and spiritual fruits abound in every imaginable corner of the Church. And so, while we can certainly describe our time as the age of the Holy Eucharist, you can make a case that it’s the age of the Rosary, as well.
To further encourage this devotion, the Dominican friars of the Province of St. Joseph will be hosting their first Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. The formula for the pilgrimage is pretty straightforward: bring Catholics together to deepen their devotion and then witness the wonders that unfold. At a time when many Christians are inclined to think twice before making the sign of the cross in public, there is power in flooding the neighborhood and filling the basilica as we laud the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Rosary.
In these days leading up to the pilgrimage, I’ve been struck in various conversations by how simple the concept is, and how many faithful men and women are drawn by that simplicity. As many pastors feel the pinch of demographic collapse, they strive anxiously and feverishly to retool or even reinvent an attractive religious experience. But their efforts are often in vain as fancy pyrotechnics or dubiously evangelical gimmicks obscure the clarity of faith. Instead, what we need is to repropose the central mysteries of our Christian faith with certainty and confidence. The Rosary Pilgrimage seizes upon this insight. Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. And, wherever he is to be found, there too is his joyful, sorrowful and glorious Mother (with a lot of light besides). The Rosary helps us to enter into these mysteries.
This pilgrimage promises to set forth the substance of the Church’s belief as passed down from age to age — with Christ at the center, fired by genuine devotion, repeated just as often as we need to hear it (which is often). So, come and join us as we work toward the recovery of the Most Holy Rosary, even as it roars back into the heart of Catholic worship.
- basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception