Patriotic Rosary held at Feeding Hills parish
Story and photos by Carolee McGrath
FEEDING HILLS – Gathering for what is known as a Patriotic Rosary at Sacred Heart Parish here, approximately 75 people prayed for the country, members of the military, political leaders and for a conversion of all Americans.
Hosted by the Knights of Columbus (Council 5585) and the Spiritual Life Committee of the parish, the July 3 evening ceremony saw people brave thunder storms to attend. The prayer service has been held for the past three years at the parish during the week of the Independence Day holiday.
“It started three years ago. They wanted to pray for the country and everything going on,” said Frankie Mazzei, a disabled veteran. Mazzei is a member of the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus. The Fourth Degree of the Catholic, fraternal organization is known as the patriotic degree. Mazzei served in both the U. S. Army and the U.S. Air Force in the 1980s.
“There’s always something going on,” he told iobserve. “Our children will always be in harms way to keep us safe. Our leaders that guide us, we are praying for them so that they will lead us in the right direction.”
The Patriotic Rosary was written by a member of the Caritas Community in Alabama. The Our Father that is prayed before each decade of the rosary is dedicated to the president, the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress, governors and state and municipal officials. Each Hail Mary is dedicated to on of the fifty states.
Before every Hail Mary, people prayed the following prayer: “We plead the blood of Jesus over Alabama (a different state is named each time) and every soul in that state.”
“We are praying for the conversion of our nation,” said Jean Raczkowski, the pastoral minister at Sacred Heart Parish. “We pray for every person in the United States. We pray for every soul,” she said.
Raczkowski told iobserve that the recent Supreme Court decisions overturning the buffer zone law in Massachusetts and backing Hobby Lobby were reasons to continue praying for the nation.
“We have to pray. Everything says that we’re beginning to lose what our forefathers so bravely fought to gain for us,” she said. “We need to pray that the hearts of our citizens will be turned toward God.”
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled June 30 in favor of arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby. The company objected to the Affordable Care Act (known as ObamaCare) mandate that requires companies to pay for certain contraceptives for their employees.
Several other dioceses and archdioceses across the country and the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and Priests for Life have lawsuits pending that are challenging the contraceptive mandate.
“We all see the circumstances this country is going through with the mandates,” said Mike Messier. “Why should we not pray to the Blessed Mother for her divine intervention?” Messier asked.
A member of the Knights of Columbus Archbishop Williams Assembly of the Fourth Degree, Messier said he was encouraged by the recent rulings. “Through the power of prayer we start to see the ball rolling. I’d like to see more.”
Parishioner Andrea Fortier told iobserve that she was also pleased with the court’s decisions. “I pray for this country every night,” said Fortier, who has four grandchildren. “We pray the rosary because that is the weapon against the evil one.”
People also made a special effort to pray for the country’s military personnel.
“I have four nephews who all served in Iraq,” said Raczkowski. “They’re all suffering the after -effects of war,” she said. “We not only need to pray when they’re there (deployed on active duty), but when they return, because a greater war begins within them because of all they’ve seen.”