|The group gathers in Times Square to pray a decade of the Rosary and sing a hymn to Mary.|
May 12, 2011. New York, NY. No one lived out
the gift of maternity more perfectly and radiantly than Mary,
Mother of God and of all mankind. And so, to
pay homage to Our Lady as the universal mother, a
new tradition was begun at Holy Innocents Church in Manhattan,
NY: the First Annual Madonnas of the World Procession in
the Archdiocese of New York.
The event, sponsored by the
Legionaries of Christ and Holy Innocents Church, consisted of a
Mass followed by a Marian procession around Times Square with
images of the Blessed Mother from 54 nations.
with the theme of unity among nations, Archbishop Chulikatt, the
Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations, presided over
the Mass. Fr Thomas Kallumady, the pastor of Holy Innocents
Church, concelebrated, along with various Legionary priests.
Following the Mass,
over 700 participants filed out of the packed church praying
the Rosary and singing Marian hymns, while the images of
Our Lady were borne aloft on poster board. The procession
went straight into the heart of Times Square, where they
stopped to pray a decade of the Rosary and sing
the hymn Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above. A video of
the procession, created by Fr Sunny Pazhukkakulam, the Carmelite pastor
of a nearby parish, can be viewed at this
|The participants process toward Times Square bearing 54 images of Mary.|
Fr Thomas Vendetti, who was one of the organizers
of the event, along with the Bruschi family, also appeared
in an interview on Net TV a few days
before the procession to explain what they planned to do.
In the interview, he mentioned that the 54 international images
of Our Lady are enlarged copies of photographs of the
original images on permanent display in the Basilica of the
Annunciation in Nazareth.
The procession was announced far ahead of time
by means of the web site, One World, One Mother
(www.oneworldonemother.com). The site presents the upcoming event, explaining the
origin of the images and how to pray the Rosary.
It also has an online format that users can fill
out to pledge a Hail Mary for a specific intention.
Finally, the site also included details on the Rosary Booklet
Contest launched across all of the Catholic schools in the
Archdiocese of New York: 3rd through 6th grade students were
invited to create the artwork for the Rosary booklet by
the April 1st deadline, at which time the best illustrations
|The group of priests and lay people bore witness to the universality of love for Mary.|
would be chosen. By the time the actual procession day
came about, the organizers had prepared 500 booklets, which turned
out to be 200 short.
This first Madonnas of the World
Procession, an act of personal faith and of public witness,
was an undeniable success. As one participant observed, the participants’
enthusiasm was “palpable.” For Fr Thomas Kallumady, the pastor of
Holy Innocents, it was a dream come true. As he
commented afterwards, he had always wanted his church to be
able to make its presence felt in Times Square. This
year, accompanied by the images of their international Mother, the
children of Holy Innocents brought a different flavor to the
brightly-lit square that some call the “Crossroads of the World,”
showing that Mary has indeed communicated herself to people of
every nation and culture.