Each year I write to you on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary for the annual El. Margaret of Castello Charity Appeal. The feast is important to Dominicans since the promotion of the Rosary has been entrusted to the Order. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary derives from the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, instituted by the Dominican Pope St. Pius-V after the defeat of the Turkisk fleet at Lepanto on Oct. 7, 1571. Four centuries ago Pope Pius asked Our Lady to protect the Church from the invading Muslims; today we ask Our Lady to protect the lives of innocent and helpless children in the wombs of their mothers. As Our Lady brought victory to the Christian fleet, we pray that Our Lady will bring victory to many who work for the end of abortion and the respect for life. We also pray for the conversion and repentance of those who are involved in the abortion industry. As we reflect on the importance of the holy rosary in our lives, I believe the words from our Holy Father Pope Paul VI are worthy of reflection:
From the Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus of Pope Paul VI
The Rosary has been called the compendium of the entire Gospel, for it draws from the Gospel the presentation of the mysteries and its main formulas. As it moves from the Angel's joyful greeting and the Virgin's pious assent, the Rosary takes its inspiration from the Gospel to suggest the attitude with which the faithful should recite it. In the harmonious succession of Hail Mary's the Rosary puts before us once more a fundamental mystery of the Gospel-the Incarnation of the Word, contemplated at the decisive moment of the Annunciation to Mary... Without contemplation the Rosary is a body without a soul and its recitation is in danger of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas and of going counter to the warning of Christ. "And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do,. for they think that they will be heard for their many words. " By its nature the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord's life as seen through the eyes of her who was closet to the Lord. In this way the unfathomable riches of these mysteries are unfolded.
The Shrine of Bl. Margaret continues to be busy and active. We receive and answer your letters, light candles for your intentions, and most especially pray for Bl. Margaret's intercession over your families and friends. The Dominican friars pray the Bl. Margaret novena prayers each evening for the intentions of the Guild; we celebrate a monthly Mass at St. Patrick's for the intentions of the guild,. and each Wednesday the entire parish community prays the Bl. Margaret novena prayers and venerates her relic. Through your generous donations to both the Bl. Margaret Guild and Little Margaret's Charity last year we were able to distribute $37,025.96 to various charities and needs.
We come to you only once a year for your donations for the works of the Bl. Margaret of Castello Shrine. Our mailing list is small (1,600 names), but we know that each of you is interested in the work of the shrine and the promotion of life. Please give what you can, and if you cannot please continue to pray for our work and Bl. Margaret's canonization.
Our annual Charity appeal letter also comes with a blank form for you to send us the names of family and friends who may want to obtain information on Blessed Margaret. Please know that if you provide us with someone's name we will send information only once, and will not add him or her to our mailing list until they ask us to do so. Also if you would like to place your intentions directly on the altar shrine of Bl. Margaret, please fill out the enclosed form and send it to us, with or without a contribution. During these very trying economic times for all of us, it is the poor that are most forgotten. I am reminded of a homeless man here in Columbus who comes to the rectory almost every day for a sandwich and a glass of juice. It is inconvenient to stop in the middle of your day to meet the needs of the hungry, but I am reminded that if we can't take two minutes to feed the poor, then what is the purpose of claiming you are a Christian? We must be attentive to the poor, the neglected, the abandoned; and especially the unborn in our society. Please help us help them by your financial support. We appreciate any amount you are able to send. I would like to thank you for your continued interest in the work of the Shrine of Bl. Margaret of Castello. Please know that you and your families and friends are in my prayers. Please pray for me and my ministry as the Shrine and Guild Director, and for Mrs. Rosemary Canada who takes care of the day to day work of the Guild.
As always in our Little Margaret,
Rev Andre-Joseph LaCasse, O.P.
Blessed Margaret of Castello Guild
Shrine of Blessed Margaret of Castello
262 North Grant Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43215-2653