Our Lady of the Cape presides over the Rosary Bowl held at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. Photo by Deborah Gyapong

Rosary Bowl a ‘template’ for celebration

  • August 28, 2019

OTTAWA -- Canada’s first Rosary Bowl should serve as a model for celebrating Our Lady across the country, organizers say.

About 800 people gathered Aug. 22 on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary for the inaugural Rosary Bowl at TD Place in Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park, home of the CFL’s Redblacks and site of the 1947 Marian Congress.

“I think it’s a really important, historic thing that’s taken place,” said Dennis Girard, co-founder with his wife Angelina of the Marian Devotional Movement.

“Mary is just getting started,” Girard said. “Now we have a template. Our Lady is going to leverage Rosary Bowls.

“We envision multiple Rosary Bowls where families come together to pray with their shepherds, drawing attention to Our Lady of the Cape, Queen of the Holy Rosary and the promotion of her Confraternity of the Rosary in order to connect her children throughout the world in an unending chain of prayer.

“Stay tuned for more,” Girard said. 

“My heart is bursting with anticipation on Mary’s next steps.  She is so driving the bus.”

At the Rosary Bowl, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast was joined by Bishop Pierre Tremblay of Trois-Rivieres and rector of the National Marian Shrine at Notre-Dame-Du-Cap, site of the miraculous ice bridge or Rosary Bridge of 1879 that allowed stones to be brought across the St. Lawrence River to build the shrine. 

Also present were Bishop Christian Riesbeck, Auxiliary Bishop of Ottawa, and Bishop Guy Desrochers, Auxiliary Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall. The recitation of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary was led by bishops, by sisters of the Queenship of Mary and by students from Corpus Christi Catholic School Rosary Club.

“I was pleased with the way the event unfolded and am happy that so many wanted to give expression to their faith by attending,” Prendergast said of the Rosary Bowl.

On Sept. 26, 2017, Canada’s three cardinals led all the bishops of Canada in re-consecrating Canada to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Notre Dame Cathedral.

The pilgrim statue of Our Lady of the Cape is a replica of the pilgrim statue that was processed from the Notre-Dame-Du-Cap in Trois-Rivières to about 350 parishes and institutions on its way to Lansdowne Park in 1947. The actual pilgrim statue has been permanently installed in Ottawa’s Blessed Sacrament Parish, the parish closest to the site of the Congress.

“I was always under the expectation that this was not going to be a huge event,” said Catholic apologist John Pacheco, who was joined by his wife and four daughters at the Rosary Bowl. 

“The whole premise behind this was to establish almost a beachhead, a foundation to build for the future. What we’re doing is pleading with Heaven to open up some doors for us. Insofar as that’s concerned, it was mission accomplished.

“We’ll have to see whatever doors are opened to us now, but my hope is this will grow not only in Canada but will spread throughout North America again,” Pacheco said.

The Rosary Bowl was part of a five-day “pilgrim experience” the Girards organized that began in Ottawa Aug. 21 and included a stop at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal Aug. 23 on the way to Notre-Dame-Du-Cap, where the pilgrimage ended on Aug. 25.

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