Friday, May 13, 2011

Family Rosary Rally in SF October 15!

Wonderful news--the Legion of Mary will host the Family Rosary Crusade 2011 on October 15 in San Francisco's Civic Center. From yesterday's California Catholic Daily:

With the archbishop’s blessings
Family Rosary Crusade planned at San Francisco Civic Center in October

On Oct. 15, 2011, in the heart of San Francisco, the Legion of Mary of the Archdiocese of San Francisco will host the Family Rosary Crusade. The Rosary Crusade will be held in the Civic Center Plaza at noon.

The Family Rosary Crusade commemorates the 50th Anniversary of Fr. Patrick Peyton’s October 1961 Rosary Rally, which drew more than 550,000 people to the Polo Fields in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Fr. Peyton died in 1992 at the age of 83.

The Legion of Mary asked for and received the blessing of San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer for the event. Organizers have invited the archbishop to give the invocation, and bishops Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland and Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa have both promised to attend.

The day will begin with the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament from one of the local churches, and Fr. Andrew Apostoli, EWTN host and co-founder of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, will be the keynote speaker.

“Each year the Legion of Mary tries to contribute one significant event to the archdiocese,” David Marten, president of the Legion’s Board for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, told California Catholic Daily. “In 2009, the ‘Year of St Paul,’ our guest was author and pilgrimage leader Steve Ray. He shared his first-hand knowledge of the Middle East, and St. Paul’s actual routes and activities in a discussion at St. Paul’s Church, which was attended by people from all over the archdiocese, including Bishop William Justice.”

“In 2010, the ‘Year of the Priest,’ we hosted theologian and retreat master Fr. Frederick Miller, STD,” Marten continued. “Fr. Miller spoke on ‘true devotion,’ as exemplified by such priests as Fr. Louis de Montfort and the Cure of Ars. He met with our spiritual directors, and also spoke before a group of about 300 Legionaries. This year, our object is to foster devotion to the Blessed Mother and to Jesus Christ. We hope we can accomplish this by witnessing in a very public place. We are using the same format as Fr. Peyton did in 1961 -- we even tried to get the Polo Fields! Unfortunately, it was not available but we are happy with the Civic Center. It’s a lot more centrally located and they did not have BART in those days!”

Fr. Lawrence Goode, the Legion’s spiritual director, also said he sees the Rosary Crusade as an important public expression of faith. Fr. Goode shared fond memories of Fr. Peyton and remembered the 1961 rally. “In those days, we went door-to-door inviting people to attend the rally,” he said. “Fr. Peyton was an amazing priest, a friend of movie stars and celebrities, yet he always remained very simple. Once I met him at Our Lady of Peace parish, where he had come to dedicate a statue. He began by apologizing that there was something wrong with his throat -- and then he spoke for half an hour!”

While the October event honors and remembers the work of Fr. Peyton, Fr. Goode stressed that the 2011 Rosary Crusade is anything but an exercise in nostalgia. “You know, it was Fr. Peyton who popularized the phrase ‘the family that prays together stays together,’” said Fr. Goode. “His idea is even more relevant today than it was then. We must pray for the strengthening of family life.”

The Legion of Mary was founded by Frank Duff in Dublin, Ireland, in 1921. The Legion’s priority is the spiritual and social welfare of each person. Legionaries gather for prayer, and work together in furtherance of parish goals. It is the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church, with well over 3 million active members in almost every country of the world.

For more information about the Family Rosary Crusade, go here.

And check out this absolutely amazing video of Fr. Peyton’s 1961 San Francisco Rosary Rally:

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