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 | Keishla Espinal

Roar of the Rosary was a Night to Remember

On May 10th, 2024, over two thousand Catholics from around the Diocese of St. Petersburg gathered for a devotional evening at the Straz featuring music from The Vigil Project, talks from Mother Adela Galindo and Cardinal Raymond Burke, and the first ever Eucharistic Procession along the Hillsborough River.

“The Roar of the Rosary was a very powerful event for our diocese and for those who attended.  The energy, prayerfulness, and reverence give witness to the importance of praying the Rosary and spending time with Our Lord truly present in the Eucharist,” said Bishop Gregory Parkes who led participants in the opening prayer at the Straz and joined all in prayer throughout the evening.

Bethany Masiello, a student at Florida State University and a graduate of the Academy of Holy Names High School, in Tampa performed a monologue on the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, following by a stirring rendition of Ave Maria.

Haley Nash, parishioner and young adult at St. Paul Catholic Church in Tampa discussed the significance of such events.

“Events like this help refresh my commitments and love for prayer, Jesus, and Mary,” stated Nash. “This one particularly emphasized the prayer of the Rosary.”

Cardinal Burke, founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin spoke to participants about Our Lady of Guadalupe’s appearance in Mexico that converted thousands of people to Christianity. He urged everyone to pray for peace in the world, especially in the Middle East, and to pray the Rosary often.

Saint John Paul II wrote an apostolic letter about the Rosary and stated: “The most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery … as a genuine ‘training in holiness.’ What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the art of prayer.”

Mother Adela, from the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, encouraged participants to share the Rosary with people they encounter.

“Give a Rosary to everyone you meet,” stated Mother Adela. “They might not take it, but what if they do? Then we have the opportunity to teach them the prayers.”

After the presentations inside the Straz, there was a Eucharistic and Rosary Procession outside. Before the procession began, Cardinal Burke blessed Rosaries that each participant received inside a gift bag. Father Carlos Rojas then carried a large monstrance to the Riverwalk, just steps away from the theatre, as participants prayed the Rosary and sang Marian hymns. This continued while Father Carlos carried the Blessed Sacrament onto a boat that proceeded along the Hillsborough River.

“Processing with the Eucharist in downtown Tampa, and then having Benediction on the Hillsborough River, were both visible expressions of how we are called to bring the Lord’s presence into the busyness, and even messiness, of the world,” added Bishop Parkes.

Aurora Juarez, parishioner at St. Rita Catholic Church in Dade City stated, “This event was beautiful. You don’t want to miss events like these. This experience was a reminder to love God and to love Jesus because He is everything. He is everything to me, and He is what keeps me going.”

Bishop Gregory Parkes shared his appreciation for those who made this event possible.

“I want to extend my gratitude to all the sponsors who made this evening possible through their generosity and their support,” said Bishop Parkes.

Sponsors of the event include Legatus Tampa Bay, Scarpo Family, Hyer Family, Young Catholic Professionals, FOCUS, Saint Paul’s Outreach, and Spirit FM 90.5.

Click below for photos from the event!

Roar of the Rosary