A Special Mass for Peace in Our World
The Columbus Day Procession and Mass for Peace is a long tradition in the Fall River Diocese. It was first held in 1975, especially to pray for peace in Portugal, but its emphasis has since broadened to include peace and justice worldwide. As with many things in 2020, the event will be slightly different this year: there will be no procession, and the Mass will be livestreamed. The Mass, and Rosary that precedes it, will include elements in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, and Brazilian Portuguese, an aspect of this celebration I particularly enjoy.
A little history on the Mass for Peace, initially intended in 1975, as prayers to Our Lady of Fatima for peace in Portugal, now includes many troubled places in our world needing our prayers, such as Syria, Iraq, North Korea, and many other places. Given the events of 2020, there seems a no better time for a Mass for peace than now.
If you would like to join Mass in the Cathedral on Columbus Day, October 12, 2020, reservations are required — you can do that at this link. The Livestream will take place on the Diocese of Fall River Facebook page, beginning with the Rosary at 5:30 pm, followed by the Mass at 6 pm.
The Month of the Rosary
October 7 is the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Pope St. Pius V (1504-1572) first introduced this feast in the year 1571 to commemorate the Christian forces’ miraculous victory in the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571.
The Blessed Virgin Mary imparted to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche, Fifteen Promises to those who recite the Holy Rosary. The first being, “whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary, shall receive signal graces,” each of these promises offers peace and hope to the faithful. Pope St. John Paul II wrote an Apostolic Letter, The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, in 2002, explaining the grace-filled power of this prayer. You can learn more about the Rosary, including the prayers in Spanish, French, and Portuguese on FamilyRosary.org.
Rosary for America
Today at 3 pm, we will join Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, bishops, priests, and Catholics across the country in praying a virtual rosary in a moment of unified prayer for America. The USCCB will Livestream the event from their YouTube page as well as shared on the Diocese of Fall River Facebook page.
The USCCB offered these guidelines on how to participate:
Prior to the rosary: invite at least one person to join you — share on your personal social media platforms using #RosaryforAmerica or pick up your phone to extend an invitation via call, text, or email (graphics in English and Spanish are below).
Leading up to the rosary: take a photo of a rosary and share it on social media. Be sure to use #RosaryForAmerica and let us know where you are praying from — how beautiful will it be when we flood the digital highways with images of rosaries on Our Lady’s feast day!
During the rosary: turn off social media and enter into prayer — we’ll be praying the Glorious Mysteries! As Pope Pius XII said, “We put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils which afflict our times.”
After the rosary: turn back to social media, and using the #RosaryForAmerica hashtag, leave a prayer intention for our country and invite others to pray for that intention. Then be intentional about your use of technology and be present to those around you! One act of love flowed from the grace of prayer can change our world!
How good to look to the tradition of the Rosary, a constant in the Catholic faith, in the midst of our ever-changing world. May we all embrace Our Lady’s promise of her special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary, especially during this month of October.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha