by Pat Ashcraft
It was a spectacular fall afternoon in Cincinnati Fountain Square on October 10, with bright sunshine and a crisp fall wind at our backs. We were just one of many, many Rosary Crusades taking place throughout the Cincinnati metro area, with a total of over 14,100 Crusades in the United States under the auspices of The American TFP, as well as similar events held in 27 different countries world-wide.
We had 325 people join us for the Rosary Crusade on Fountain Square which is an urban park located in the heart of the downtown metropolitan area of Cincinnati. Our Crusade commenced with the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus processing onto the Square with the clergy, including Bishop Joseph R. Binzer, the Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati; Fr. Shannon Collins, M.S.J.B.; Deacon Amado Lim; Fr. Gabriel Torretta, O.P.; and Fr. Cyril Whitaker, S.J.
We started the Crusade with the Angelus and the Magnificat. This was followed by the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, with a special commentary before each mystery, and then prayed the Litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We had three outstanding homilies by the clergy, touching on such issues as: The incredible importance of Our Lady’s messages at Fatima in 1917 and their profound significance, perhaps even more so, today; the necessity of praying the Rosary as our last remaining individual weapon of restraint against the devil and his minions, and the corresponding importance of thinking about and truly meditating on the words we are praying; seeking truth as the ultimate goal, rather than the false freedom of today that pursues Godless equality and boundless choice; and a unique take on the Albigensian heresy of old, with its anti-life theme, being repeated again today.
The Latin Mass Community Schola, directed by Mrs. Anna Little, with musical accompaniment by Mr. Ric Aielli, led us in several traditional Marian hymns. We consecrated our lives to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and received a special blessing from Bishop Binzer.
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. The DVD used 180 specially selected paintings and statutes from the past 2,000 years of Christian history to chronicle the life of Our Lady through Jesus and the humanity of Jesus through Mary.
We also had numerous Catholic publications available for those in attendance and distributed 175 copies of Mr. John Horvat’s riveting new book, Return to Order, which had been kindly donated for the Crusade by several local benefactors.
We closed the day with a late luncheon at our home for 60 Crusade supporters and workers. We use this opportunity each year to gather in fellowship after the Crusade to celebrate this wonderful act of reparation and to also begin our strategic planning for next year’s Crusade on October 15, 2016.