On Saturday, October 11, San Francisco Catholics will once again take to the streets of the city in prayer, reparation, and celebration as the archdiocese of San Francisco co-presents the fourth annual San Francisco Rosary rally. The rally will be held in the City’s United Nations Plaza at 12 noon.
The San Francisco Rosary rally was reborn in 2011 as an effort of the San Francisco Legion of Mary. Other groups joined in: Immaculate Heart Radio, the Knights of Columbus, Ignatius Press, and, most importantly, the archdiocese of San Francisco, and the archdiocesan Ministry for Spanish Speaking.
The 2011 rally marked the 50th Anniversary of Father Patrick Peyton’s 1961 Rosary Crusade, held in the City’s Golden Gate Park. That event drew over 550,000 people—still the largest crowd assembled in San Francisco. In 2011, Father Lawrence Goode, the chaplain of the Legion of Mary said that although the current Rosary rallies honor the work of Father Peyton, they are not an exercise in nostalgia: “You know, it was Father Peyton who popularized the phrase ‘the family that prays together stays together.’ His idea is even more relevant today than it was then.”
On August 25, San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone sent a letter to all pastors of the archdiocese, urging them to lead their flocks to the rally: “I am writing to invite you and your parishioners to join with me, and many other Catholics of the Bay Area, in supporting the fourth annual Rosary rally in San Francisco. Each year the event is attracting more and more people, who desire to witness to their Catholic faith by a public procession and prayer. For a long time popular devotions have been a part of Catholic spirituality and tradition and are ways in which we can be a reminder of the presence of God in the community…. Our Rosary rally is a good example of what the Holy Father calls the ‘evangelizing power of popular piety.’” Last year, His Excellency was joined by two of his auxiliary bishops, Bishop William Justice and Bishop Robert McElroy.
As has been the case for the past two years, the Rosary rally coincides with the archdiocese’s Hispanic Ministry Day. The day begins with a 10:00 a.m. Mass in Spanish at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Following the Mass, the archbishop will lead the procession to UN Plaza. At the plaza, another group of Catholics, led by seminarians from St. Patrick’s Seminary, will already be praying the rosary in preparation for the arrival of the pilgrims from the cathedral.
Father Joseph Illo, pastor of the newly formed San Francisco Oratory of St. Philip Neri and Star of the Sea Church, will serve as master of ceremonies. Upon arrival, the archbishop will give a welcome, in both English and Spanish. His Excellency will be followed by the keynote speaker, noted Marian scholar and EWTN host Father Andrew Apostoli, of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. This year, priests will be on hand to offer the sacrament of penance in the plaza during the rally. The rally will be completed and crowned with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.
To learn more, visit www.rosaryrallysf.com/index.html