ROSARY PILGRIMAGE SUNDAY: On Fr. Juan-Diego Brunetta's Preaching and the Post-Pilgrimage Parlor Party

Pictured with Fr. James, and Fr. Juan-Diego Brunetta,
the Nigerian Women's Rosary Crusade was here in

full-force and made a faith-filled fashion statement
with their vibrant head scarves and dresses.

Our last posting mentioned some of the details of the Pilgrimage Holy Hour. After the recitation of the Rosary, our chaplain, Fr. Kieran Fergus, O.P., led the pilgrims in an Act of Consecration to Our Lady, which was followed by the Blessing of the Roses. All held up their roses while Father pronounced the blessing and walked down the chapel's main aisle asperging the roses.

Fr. Juan Diego with our aspirants, Emily and Greta

Fr. Kieran then introduced our guest preacher, Fr. Juan-Diego Brunetta, O.P., of St. Mary's Priory, New Haven, CT. Father preached a powerful homily, recalling one of the ancient images of Our Lady as the "Ark of the New Covenant."

"Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, for her very body is the vessel of the Savior. And like the Ark of the Old Covenant, on the one hand, she is unimportant in her own right: a humble, village girl, but on the other, through God’s preparation beforehand, she is made holy because of and in anticipation of Whom she carried. She who bears the Godhead within her womb is made holy for and because of Him. She is preserved from sin at her Immaculate Conception and sanctified in her intimate contact with Him. And she is the first to believe. And as the first of the believers, Mary therefore has much to teach us as we seek to grow in faith and understanding of the mysteries of our faith, that are encapsulated in the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary.

As our beloved Pope John Paul II wrote in Rosariium Virginis Mariae, 'With the Rosary, the Christian people sits at the school of Mary and is led to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depths of His love.' When we pray the Rosary, we, as it were, sit at Mary’s feet and ponder the key moments of salvation history with her, with the one who is holy because she is the New Ark of the New Covenant, with the one who has intimate knowledge of the Divinity, with the one who is the first of believers, with the one who always teaches us to look beyond her to her Son."

The Holy Hour ended with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Amidst clouds of incense, we adored and worshipped the Son of God and the Son of Mary, concluding our praises by singing "Holy God, we praise Your name..."

The nuns converge upon the parlor, reminiscent of a
recent image which was posted here.

After the pilgrimage, most of us went to the parlor to greet Fr. Juan-Diego and his friend, Fr. James, a Vocationist Father, who attended the pilgrimage. Fr. Juan-Diego had originally intended to see us briefly. Instead, much to our delight, he ended up chatting with us until Vespers. Indeed, "How good and how pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters!) dwell in unity..."

A view from the visitors' side of the parlor.
Clockwise (from top), Sr. Judith Miryam,
Sr. Mary Rose Dominic, Sr. Maria of the Cross,
Sr. Mary Elizabeth, Sr. Mary Catharine, and
Sr. Virginia Mary.

Whenever two or three Dominicans are
gathered, a heated theological discussion
is bound to ensue!

Sr. Virginia Mary and Fr. Juan-Diego demonstrate
their Dominican Family spirit!

Sr. Mary Catharine appears to be suffering from
PPS (Post-Pilgrimage Syndrome)!

May Our Lord bless all the pilgrims who participated in our Holy Hour, and grant all their needs and intentions.