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Turn to Jesus (Article)

One World, One Mother
A Marian procession through Times Square bears witness to Mary as the mother of all nations.

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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.

In keeping 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
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The participants process toward Times Square bearing 54 images of Mary.
the procession, created by Fr Sunny Pazhukkakulam, the Carmelite pastor of a nearby parish, can be viewed at this link.

Effective promotion

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 ( 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
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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.



Related links web site
Mission Network
Our Lady of Bethesda Retreat Center and the Center for Family Development
Changing Hearts
Cancun-Chetumal Prelature
Helping Hands Medical Missions

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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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