On Saturday, October 2, Catholics from all over the city of San Francisco will gather at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption for the Tenth Annual Rosary Rally. The Rosary Rally was begun in 2011, marking the fiftieth anniversary of Fr. Patrick Peyton’s 1961 Rosary Crusade, which drew 600,000 people to the city’s Golden Gate Park, still the largest gathering of any kind in the city’s history.
There will be clergy-led processions through the streets from five San Francisco parishes: Mission Dolores, St. Dominic’s St. Patrick’s, Saints Peter and Paul, and Star of the Sea, meeting at the Cathedral Plaza at 10:30 am. Upon arrival, participants will pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, led by students from archdiocesan Catholic high schools and the newly formed Stella Maris Elementary Academy. Following the Rosary, Deacon Christophe Sandoval will lead the faithful in the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy and the keynote address “Behold Your Mother” will be given by Father Christopher LaRocca, OCD. Twelve priests will be on hand to hear confessions.
At 12:30 pm, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, joined by priests from the archdiocese, will celebrate Mass. Organizers have obtained 1800 Miraculous Medals, which will be blessed by the archbishop and then presented to the faithful by the Missionaries of Charity.
Father Joseph Illo, pastor of Star of the Sea, commented: “60 years ago the saintly Fr. Patrick Peyton got the governor of California, the mayor of San Francisco, and the archbishop to get on their knees together for a family rosary with 600,000 brothers and sisters. This year I don’t know if Governor Newsom or Mayor Breed will get on their knees, but I do know the archbishop will kneel to say the rosary. Let’s not let him kneel alone!”
The format of the 2021 Rosary Rally differs from preceding years. The regular format is a Mass at the cathedral followed by a Eucharistic Procession through the streets to United Nations Plaza, where the Rosary is prayed, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. This year’s event is different for a very special reason.
While 2011 marks the sixtieth anniversary of Fr. Peyton’s Rosary Crusade, 2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of St. Mary’s Cathedral – the golden jubilee of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. Among other things, the cathedral is celebrating the jubilee by a multi-media exhibit in the Patron’s Hall of many of the sacred treasures of the archdiocese, most of which have not been seen before. Items on display include a restored 150-year-old episcopal canopy of San Francisco’s first archbishop, Joseph Sadoc Alemany, O.P.; historic chalices, ciboria, and monstrances; historic vestments of past archbishops and clergy; and other art and artifacts from the archdiocese three cathedrals – Old Saint Mary’s, the second Saint Mary’s on Van Ness Avenue (destroyed by fire in 1962), and the current cathedral. The exhibit will include more contemporary items: photographs of the planning and construction of the current cathedral, video interviews with those involved in the construction and dedication Mass, and archival photographs of distinguished visitors, included St. Pope John Paul the Great; St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta; the Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen, and President Lech Walesa of Poland. The exhibit will be open from October 1-5 and admission is free.
To learn more about the San Francisco Rosary Rally, click here.
– Gibbons Cooney