Teresa Peterson

Mary Unites at the Marian Congress

Close to 200 people gathered for the Marian Congress on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle. Participants prayed the Rosary in multiple languages, including Ukrainian. Speakers shared insights on how to listen like Mary, what does it mean to be a synodal Church and what does it mean to be a synodal person.

“The presenters were able to connect how we have been Walking Together in a synodal way since October 17, 2021, when Bishop Gregory Parkes launched the Synodal Process in our Diocese. Father Ralph D’Elia shared a message about Mary's Annunciation and the synodal themes of communion, participation, mission, the Eucharist, and unity. Father Carlos Rojas gave a presentation about what Mary can teach us about synodality, especially the way she pondered things in her heart and how we should dialogue with others,” said Carlos Flores, Director of Intercultural Ministries, Diocese of St. Petersburg.

The Marian Congress planning committee also unveiled a new logo and a new vision for the Marian Congress that includes better collaboration among all Marian movements of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. There will also be a broader focus on the Holy Family and how we can unite our hearts to Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

“The new vision for the Congress introduced many people for the first time to what the Congress is all about and they showed interest in what is coming next,” said Flores.

A highlight for many participants was the Multicultural Rosary.

“The Rosary was very special. It was prayed in six languages: English, Igbo, Spanish, Creole, Tongan and Ukrainian. It was an awesome way to recognize the diversity of our Diocese and universality of our Church,” added Flores.

The Congress closed with the Vigil Mass presided by Father D’Elia, Father Rojas, and Monsignor John Cippel.  The Prayer of Renewal of Consecration of the Diocese of St. Petersburg  to the Immaculate Heart of Mary concluded the Prayer of the Faithful at the Mass.

“There were many smiles and expressed appreciation for the Congress and what was shared,” shared Flores.

To view videos and photos of the Marian Congress, visit, www.dosp.org/heartofmary