A woman holds a rosary with an image of Pope Francis as the Pope delivers his Easter message and blessing "urbi et orbi" from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican 2015. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Canadians called to join Rosary Coast to Coast

  • September 27, 2018

Canadians from coast to coast are being called to take up arms through the Rosary Oct. 7 in a clarion call for peace.

The Rosary Coast to Coast is taking place that day, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, in municipalities across Canada. Canadians are invited to pray the Rosary wherever they can gather, be it at one of the prayer sites, in their parish, with their families or viewing a livestream of the Rosary Rally taking place in Toronto. 

This is the first time the event is being held in Canada and there will be rallies at 35 sites in eight provinces.

The Rosary Coast to Coast has its origins in the United States in 2016 with Fr. Rick Heilman of Madison, Wisc., and has since spread to Poland and Ireland. The inspiration came from the U.S. bishops’ 2013 Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty. In essence, it was a call to help turn the nation back towards God through prayer.

Heilman is a leader in The Holy League men’s movement which strives to call men back to the state of grace and transform modern culture through prayer and training in holiness. The National Rosary Rally in the U.S. is the concluding event of the 54 Day Rosary Novena, which began Aug. 15 on the Feast of the Assumption and brings thousands to Washington, D.C. 

The call has now crossed the border and been heard in Canada, where Rosary Coast to Coast will be celebrated for the first time.

“It’s very clear that the world is in need of prayer,” said Angie Carboni, who will lead the Toronto procession. “Our country is in need of prayer.”

The evidence can be found in life-ending practices such as abortion and euthanasia, and “there’s a shooting every day” in Toronto it would seem, said Carboni.

“We need this order in our land. We can’t disrespect life of any kind,” said Carboni, founder and executive director of Toronto’s St. Bernadette’s Family Resource Centre, an organization that integrates physically challenged youth with able-bodied peers.

The event follows along the path of Marian devotion, particularly the message from Fatima where Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Portugal and instructed them to pray, adore Jesus and make sacrifices for the reparation of sins. 

“To have respect for humanity and for life, from the womb to death,” said Carboni. “Bring back Christian values, of the Ten Commandments, which brings us back to the order that God gave us.” 

Carboni has led Rosary processions at the Marian Shrine of Gratitude in Toronto for the past 14 years, some of which have drawn up to 1,000 people. She is also a member of the Children of the Eucharist, an educational program of the International World Apostolate of Fatima. 

“The fruit is very positive. There is a healing of the body and there’s a healing of the soul,” she said. “You can feel Mother Mary coming to her children.”

In Toronto, participants will rally at 3 p.m. to pray the Divine Mercy at the Newman Centre on the University of Toronto’s downtown campus. From there a walking Rosary will proceed through Queen’s Park to City Hall and then on to St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica for a feast day Mass.

For information, see rosarycoasttocoast.ca.

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