KINGSTREE — The sixth annual Diocese of Charleston Rosary Celebration in honor of Our Lady of South Carolina – Our Lady of Joyful Hope will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 11 at the Kingstree Recreational Park on Nelson Avenue.
Father James L.P. Miara, of the Marian Movement of Priests, will be the featured speaker. He was ordained in the Archdiocese of New York and is currently assigned as parochial vicar of our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Bronx, N.Y.
In addition to his pastoral duties, Father Miara is the spiritual director of the New York archdiocesan division of the World Apostolate of Fatima, also known as The Blue Army.
He regularly gives retreats and conferences and is involved in many groups that spread a devotion to Mary.
The first diocesan rosary rally was initiated by Bishop Robert J. Baker, now of Birmingham, Ala., in 2005 to conclude the Year of the Rosary.
Pope John Paul II proclaimed October 2002 to October 2003 a Year of the Rosary and suggested a new set of mysteries for the Marian prayer in his apostolic letter, “The Rosary of the Virgin Mary.” It includes the suggested addition of five optional “mysteries of light” that focus on episodes from Christ’s public ministry.
Pope John Paul said the rosary has “a peaceful effect on those who pray it,” leading them to see the face of Christ in others, to recognize other’s grief and suffering and to yearn to make the world “more beautiful, more just, more closely conformed to God’s plan.”
In 2002 Pope Benedict XVI said that, “the older I am, the more important the mother of God is to me,” according to Catholic News Service.
During a recent trip to Lourdes, pilgrims heard the scholarly pope preach the value of “humble and intense prayer” such as the rosary. He told his listeners that devotion to Mary was not a form of “pious infantilism” but an expression of spiritual maturity.
The site of the rally is less than a mile from the Our Lady of South Carolina – Our Lady of Joyful Hope Shrine in downtown Kingstree.
Father Stan Smolenski, shrine director, urges people to come to the shrine and look at it as a spiritual home and a place of comfort.
At last year’s celebration, he reminded people that Mary’s role is to serve as everyone’s spiritual mother and asked them to imagine her torment at not being allowed to share her maternal love.
“She wants to be a mother to us and often we do not allow her to be,” he said. “She is forbidden to show others her love because we don’t tell others about her.”
Bishop Baker signed a canonical decree establishing the shrine on March 7.
The decree stated that the shrine had been created “in order to increase veneration for the Blessed Virgin Mary and to provide more adequately for the spiritual welfare of the Diocese of Charleston.”
Father Smolenski said the shrine is significant because it allows the faithful to contemplate Mary’s role as mother of the church and her importance to South Carolina’s Catholics.
Diocesan Rosary Celebration participants are encouraged to bring their own lunches and beverages as there will be no food concessions. Picnic tables will be available.
For more information
about the Diocesan Rosary Celebration, call Father Smolenski
at (843) 355-3527 or visit www.ourladyofsouthcarolina.net.