By KATIE LEFEBVRE
WEST BEND – The Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption will join other shrines across the world in praying the rosary for priests on June 12, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Those wishing to participate will gather at the northeast entrance of the Grotto Shrine, the area where tours begin. From there, a procession will be led through the Grotto Shrine to various places that correspond with the rosary meditation. Each decade of the rosary will be led by different members of the St. Gianna Cenacle and anyone else who would like to volunteer.
This year the relay will start at the Shrine of Our Lady of Magadan in Siberia with the Joyful Mysteries. The shrines will rotate mysteries of the rosary – joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous.
In 2010, worldpriest.com was launched by Marion Mulhall, founder of the World Priest organization. The website is in support of Catholic priesthood worldwide. The non-profit organization is based in Ireland and the United States (office in Manhattan, N.Y.).
To date the organization has received an apostolic blessing from three popes – St. John Paul II, His Holiness Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.
“This is the 21st anniversary of my call, vocation to promote the priesthood at any price,” said Mulhall. “We had been praying about what we would do for the close of the Year for Priests. I was awoken early one morning and sensed these words, ‘20 countries and 20 mysteries.’ That was the beginnings of the Global Rosary Relay.”
She realized this was an inspiration from Our Lady.
“We thought this had happened thousands of times before, but apparently it hadn’t happened before,” said Mulhall. That year we were the planners and the workers. We pulled out every single stop to make this something beautiful as a gift to Our Lady and in thanksgiving for our priests.”
The global rosary began in 2010 with 24 shrines dedicated to Our Lady for the 24 hours in a day. This year, 100 locations in 50 countries are participating.
“Each year it has been growing and growing in popularity with the laity and with the priests,” said Mulhall, who will be joining in prayer with those in Boston on June 12. “In a short time, it has become one of the largest days of prayer in the entire world – one prayer, one day, one purpose.”
Mulhall said the Global Rosary Relay continues by “sheer popularity. The people want this. The excitement is unbelievable.”
Joining the relay
Susanne Reding, a parishioner at St. Michael in Whittemore, saw a flyer this past winter about the Global Rosary Relay for Priests in a Catholic magazine generated from the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy at Stockbridge, Mass.
“I called them, and they gave me the contact information for Marion Mulhall, the Irish woman who began this event about six years ago,” said Reding. “Coincidentally, our local lay prayer group, The St. Gianna Cenacle, has been around for about the last six years, too.”
The Global Rosary Relay seemed to fit the cenacle’s focus – praying for priests, deacons and their wives, deacon candidates and their wives, seminarians and consecrated religious.
“Marion was so welcoming and so excited to have more shrines praying around the world,” said Reding. “Since the Grotto Shrine has just been designated a diocesan shrine, I felt that this timing was really right to start something like this. If God wills it, I would love to see this event continue for many years to come.”
Reding said the Grotto Shrine is fitting for the global rosary because “Father (Paul) Dobberstein and Father (Louis) Greving left such a great legacy in their priesthoods and the shrine itself feels almost like we can honor their lives by this event. I feel that we will be praying for them and with them as we lead the rosary.”
The rosary in West Bend will be prayed at the same time as the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Green Bay, Wis. In the event of rain, Sts. Peter and Paul Church will be available for the rosary.
The list of all of the participating shrines is on the World Priesthood website at www.worldpriest.org.