On the evening before the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, October 6, the seminary community gathered together for our annual Rosary procession.
It was a beautiful outdoor procession around the perimeter of the seminary grounds with candles, crucifix, and a statue of our Blessed Mother raised high. Fr. Robert Spezia, undergraduate spiritual director, led the prayers and procession while those seminarians who are deacons led the individual decades of the Rosary.
We had quite an interesting encounter as we prayed and walked on our Rosary path. We were on the path adjacent to Joy Road and the usual flow of traffic was passing by. One car drove by but then immediately turned around. The driver rolled down his window and began shouting, “Mary is gone. You are all statue worshipers. It’s all lies. Everything in there, it’s all lies.” He continued shouting as our group of over 130 seminarians and priests continued praying the Fourth Luminous Mystery, the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.
Deacon Matthew Hood was leading the decade when we had the encounter. “It was an opportunity to see how the Gospel is a sign of contradiction to the world,” Deacon Matt says. “We also all had a chance to intercede for the man who was yelling at us that the Lord would heal his heart.”
Our night did not end with the procession. We walked into the main chapel for our Thursday night community Holy Hour. Resident priest Fr. Clint McDonell gave a stunning reflection on the Rosary. He reminded us all how the Rosary is a prayer that draws us to our Lord. The very prayers of the Our Father and Hail Mary are drawn from the Scriptures. The Rosary is Eucharistic because it draws us into an encounter with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. And this encounter happens through our Mother Mary, through her humble and joyful heart.
Father McDonell closed his homily by quoting Pope St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on the Most Holy Rosary: “The beads converge upon the Crucifix, which both opens and closes the unfolding sequence of prayer. The life and prayer of believers is centered upon Christ. Everything begins from him, everything leads towards him, everything, through him, in the Holy Spirit, attains to the Father.”
Our procession was not a walk to worship a statue or follow a set of lies. We walk as sons of Mary as she draws us to her Son, our Lord, the way, the truth, and the life.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, cause of our joy, pray for us!