By Pat Ashcraft
We commenced the 8th Annual Cincinnati Rosary Crusade on a spectacular fall afternoon, with bright sunshine and a crisp fall wind at our backs. We were one of over a dozen Crusades taking place throughout the metro area, with a total of 12,629 Rosary Crusades world-wide on this date, in recognition of the 97th anniversary of the Marian Apparitions at Fatima.
While the overall focus of our Crusade in Cincinnati again this year was to encourage families to pray the Rosary daily as requested by Our Lady at Fatima, we directed a good deal of our attention to that part of the Fatima message wherein Our Lady promised to us that “in the end, Her Immaculate Heart would triumph.” The Fatima apparitions contain a tremendous message of hope for mankind, but Our Lady also warned of severe consequences if we failed to heed her message to turn our lives back to God and to pray the Rosary daily.
As for attendance this year, we had over 450 people join us for the Crusade on Fountain Square, which is located in the heart of the metro area of Cincinnati. Our Crusade commenced with eighteen 4th Degree Knights of Columbus processed onto the Square with the clergy including Fr. Cyril Whitaker, S.J.; Fr. Shannon Collins, C.P.M.; Fr. Matthew Collins, O.P.; and Deacon Amado Lim.
In addition to the outstanding homilies on the coming Reign of Mary and the triumph of her Immaculate Heart, we also prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and the Litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Latin Mass Community Schola, headed by Mrs. Fatima Spoor, with musical accompaniment by Mr. Ric Aielli, led us in traditional Marian hymns, closing the Crusade with “Holy God we Praise thy Name.” We also consecrated our lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and received a special blessing from Fr. Whitaker.
As an aside, we noticed that there was a more intense sense of seriousness and urgency that seemed to penetrate the entire Crusade this year. We cannot definitively explain this but sincerely hope that people are becoming more acutely aware of the events surrounding them today.
As in past Crusades, we had a DVD of historic Marian images on display before the Crusade on a 30’ x 42’ video screen across from the Square. We also had numerous Catholic publications available for those in attendance. We closed the day with a late luncheon at our home for Crusade supporters and workers, which we used to celebrate this wonderful act of reparation and to also begin strategic planning for next year’s event on October 10, 2015.