When Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem to register for the census, they traveled on foot or on donkeys a 120 km journey in about five days.
Pilgrims preparing to walk from the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in the Fatherland to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed on the first day of the Rosary Congress from October 2 to 8 will have a much easier task. Their 4.7-mile walk is expected to take under two hours, getting them to the First Cathedral in the United States in time for the opening Mass of the Fifth Annual Rosary at 10 a.m.
The Rosary Congress commemorates the 104th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three little shepherds in Fatima, Portugal.
The Baltimore Basilica will offer Masses, occasions for confession and perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the week in the underground chapel. (The Perpetual Adoration Chapel will be closed during Congress.) The Rosary will be recited every hour on the hour.
St. Mark in Fallston will also offer a program of events, including Masses, Eucharistic adoration, Confession opportunities, an October 4 lecture by Michael Misulia on Prayer Priority and a Rosary Candlelight Procession on October 7.
In this Year of Saint Joseph, the theme of this year’s Rosary Congress is “In the arms of Saint Joseph”. At the Basilica, homilies throughout the week will address various themes from the titles of Saint Joseph, including “Guardian of the Redeemer”, “Terror of the Demons” and “Patron of the Dying”.
Archbishop William E. Lori has designated special prayer intentions for each day of Congress. They cover a wide range of topics, including the end of abortion, a greater love of the Eucharist, an end to racism and injustice, an increase in vocations to the priesthood and to religious life, and more. Again.
Angelus Virata, director of evangelism for the basilica, coordinates the conference with Julie Tomko, outreach coordinator at Saint-Marc.
Virata noted that the pilgrimage on foot is a first for the Rosary Congress. Participants will gather at 7:30 a.m. on October 2 at the Cathedral of Marie Notre-Reine. They begin the walk to the basilica after a prayer service at 7.45 am.
Participants are encouraged to take the # 51 bus which stops near the basilica to return to the cathedral to get to their cars. Limited carpooling will also be available, Virata said.
Virata said she was delighted that this year marks the first time that the Cathedral and Basilica, co-cathedrals of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, have jointly worked on a Rosary Congress event. She sees the congress as an opportunity for people to grow in their Catholic faith.
“We pray and hope for the conversion of the hearts of the people of Baltimore and for unity in our church,” she said.
For more information on the Rosary Congress, visit www.archbalt.org/rosarycongress
Email George Matysek at [email protected]
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