By Our Sunday Visitor Staff
Amid the backdrop of the iconic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., a unique and powerful event is set to take place on Sept. 30, 2023. The Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage, a spiritual gathering organized by the Dominican Friars of the St. Joseph Province, aims to rejuvenate devotion to the Rosary and foster a sense of unity among Catholics across the United States.
The pilgrimage seeks to address the shifting spiritual landscape of our day, by calling attention to our need for prayer. Inspired by the annual pilgrimages dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary held in various parts of the world, the Dominican Friars recognized the urgency to unite American Catholics in prayer and spiritual growth. The event aims to complement the spiritual significance of the March for Life, providing a retreat-like experience for participants.
The Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage has garnered anticipation and enthusiasm, thanks to a sneak peek shared during a recent webinar. Hosted by Kathryn Jean Lopez, the webinar was headlined by Dominican Friars Father Patrick Mary Briscoe, editor of Our Sunday Visitor and author of a new guide to the Rosary, Father Aquinas Guilbeau, chaplain of the Catholic University of America, and Father Sebastian White, editor in chief of Magnificat.
Rich devotion to the Rosary
The pilgrimage’s significance is intertwined with the Basilica’s history and the Catholic University of America. The shrine stands as a beacon of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, with a rich history of hosting significant events for the Catholic faithful. Father Briscoe shared the motivation behind the pilgrimage, stating, “We recognized a great need for ourselves as American Catholics in this present moment, a sense of urgency for prayer, for growth in the spiritual life.”
Father Guilbeau further emphasized the relevance of the pilgrimage to ongoing efforts, such as the Eucharistic revival promoted by the bishops of the United States. The pilgrimage, he explained, intends to interweave devotion to the Rosary and the Eucharist, reinforcing the spiritual connections between Mary and Christ.
The tradition of St. Dominic and the Rosary is rooted in piety and veneration, albeit with historical variations. While there is limited historical evidence of Our Lady’s direct visitation to St. Dominic, the tradition of Our Lady entrusting the Rosary to him has been embraced by the Dominican Order. The Rosary, a prayer form that evolved over time, allows for a profound connection with the mysteries of Christ’s life and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage holds a multi-faceted significance, combining devotion, unity, and renewal of faith. This pilgrimage invites Catholics to come together, united in prayer, to seek guidance from the Virgin Mary and draw strength from the mysteries of the Rosary. With a backdrop of a magnificent basilica and the wisdom of the Dominican Friars, the pilgrimage promises to be a transformative event for participants seeking spiritual nourishment and revival.