Diocese to close Year of the Rosary with rally Oct. 12

CHARLESTON – Bishop Robert J. Baker has announced that the faithful of the Diocese of Charleston will conclude the Year of the Rosary with a rosary rally at 3 p.m. Oct. 12 in Columbia.

The location has yet to be determined, but pastors have been asked to spread the word so parishioners can mark the date.

The rally and service will include a blessing of a new icon to Our Lady of South Carolina, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, recitation of the luminous mysteries of the rosary, and several speakers.

Father Steven L. Brovey, vicar for the office of Divine Worship and Sacraments, is organizing the rally. He said it is an excellent opportunity for Catholics to gather and pray as one family.

“Bishop Baker wanted a celebration to end the Year of the Rosary,” he said. “We encourage all ages to mark the date, then to travel to Columbia to honor our Blessed Mother and pray as a diocese.”

Pope John Paul II proclaimed October 2002 to October 2003 a Year of the Rosary and suggested a new set of mysteries for the Marian prayer in his apostolic letter, “The Rosary of the Virgin Mary,” which included the suggested addition of five optional “mysteries of light” that focus on episodes from Christ’s public ministry.

The pope said he offered the new mysteries to make it possible for those who recite it to do so with more devotion and not mechanically and to explore more deeply the Gos-pel’s content.

The additional mysteries are Christ’s baptism in the Jordan, his self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, his proclamation of the kingdom of God with his call to conversion, Christ’s Transfiguration, and his institution of the Eucharist.

Pope John Paul said the rosary has “a peaceful effect on those who pray it,” leading them to see the face of Christ in others, to recognize other’s grief and suffering and to yearn to make the world “more beautiful, more just, more closely conformed to God’s plan.”

Reciting the rosary draws families together with the Holy Family, bringing their hopes and concerns to God and focusing their attention on images from the life of Christ, rather than from television, he said.

The beads, he said, mark “the unending path of contemplation and of Christian perfection” and can “remind us of our many relationships (and) of the bond of communion and fraternity which unites us with Christ.”

Pope John Paul also asked people to pause over the crucifix on their rosaries, remembering that “the life and prayer of believers is centered upon Christ.”