‘Patriotic Rosary’ at Lake View invites all to pray for the nation
Just days before the United States of America celebrates its 247th birthday, Catholics will be invited to gather in Lake View to pray for the nation in what’s known as the Patriotic Rosary for the Consecration of Our Nation.
The prayer will be held at St. John Paul II Parish on Wednesday, June 28 beginning at 7 p.m. in the prayer garden. Those planning to attend are urged to bring a lawn chair. The event will move indoors if inclement weather makes it necessary. An ice cream social will follow.
“It involves praying for the nation’s capital, for the president, for the Cabinet, for Congress,” said Jonathan Molik, pastoral associate at St. John Paul II Church. “And, each Hail Mary prayed on the rosary is for a specific state. We go through all 50 states with the 50 Hail Marys.”
The Patriotic Rosary’s origins trace to Caritas of Birmingham, an Alabama-based mission site which evangelizes through the messages of Mary, as delivered in Medjugorje (located within the former Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovina). Its founder, identified only as a friend of Medjugorje, visited Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where this person was inspired to write the Patriotic Rosary.
This is the 10th year St. John Paul II Parish will host the Patriotic Rosary. Molik explained that it began locally after a parishioner approached church leaders with the idea, suggesting it he held close to the Independence Day holiday. The idea has been well received.
“We live in, I’d say, more of a rural side of the suburbs in Lake View, a blue-collar town. We just have a lot of people who fly their flags outside their house, very proud American people, small town mentality,” Molik said. “People were excited to have an opportunity to incorporate their love for the Church and their love for their country together.”
He also credits the influence of the late Msgr. John Zeitler, who served what was then Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Lake View for two decades before retiring in 2010. Before entering the priesthood, Msgr. Zeitler served in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956, and followed that with three years of service in the Army Reserve.
“A lot of people that he brought into this community, and help grow this community with, were always centered around his mentality of being a veteran and his ability to love his country and love his Church, and how the ideals of freedom and patriotism and civil rights and human dignity in the Church and the country run so together,” Molik said. “It’s a great opportunity to remind ourselves not only of our values in our country that we’re so lucky to have, but also how the Church openly preaches and confesses that this is the human dignity that God intended for all of us to have.”
While this special praying of the rosary will celebrate patriotism, it is not intended to include or promote partisan politics. The prayers, Molik described, are intended for the well-being of the nation and the souls living within it.
But certainly, Catholics are urged to use their faith-based values to influence their actions as citizens.
“We need to remind ourselves, and I think the country, that we were built on Christian ideals, and although there is separation of church and state and everyone’s going to take a different stance on involvement and influence, basic civil liberties are very much in line with what the Catholic Church teaches when it comes to human dignity,” Molik said.
Listen to Michel Mroziak’s report.