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Our Lady of the Rosary


In preparation for their feast day, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Sapaterre, Haiti, is beginning a Novena (for those of you who may not be familiar with a Novena, it is nine days of prayer), starting September 28. The Novena will end on October 6, culminating in the celebration of the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7. We invite all of you to offer a prayer for the next nine days in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Feast Days in Haiti are cause of great celebration and prayerful preparation. I’ve had the pleasure of being at Our Lady of the Rosary several years ago during the preparation and the feast day itself. I assure you it is like no celebration you have experienced in the U.S.

The Novena is joyous, boisterous (for lack of a better term), active and prayerful. The little church was packed both inside and outside of prayerful, joyous participants. There was no quite, humble prayer. It was loud and vigorous and everyone inside and out prayed, hands raised, voices singing and praying, bodies swaying to the beat of the music. You can’t help but be caught up in the moment, and even though we don’t speak the language, praising God is unmistakable in any language. They were and will certainly be filled with the Spirit for the next nine days.

It’s not only a parish event but a Diocesan event, with priest from all over coming to concelebrate Mass and join in the festivities, visitors and dignitaries are also invited. This year Fr. Nova will have a different priest lead each night of the Novena. I guarantee, if the priest was available, the immediate response to be part of the celebration was “YES”.

On October 7, the feast day, there will be a Mass with many priests from the Diocese available. Normally the Bishop would also attend but since the Bishop has recently gone to his Heavenly reward I am sure there will be an official representative of the Diocese present. There will be singing and dancing by the children, the Offertory is something to behold as the gifts are from the goods available. They bring gifts of chickens, turkeys, goats, pigs, vegetables, cooking oil, bottled water, and rice and beans, etc. That’s right; they actually carry them in on their shoulders and offer them to the parish at the Offertory. After Mass there will be a great celebration with much food and drink, music and dancing and it will last, depending on the time of day for the Mass well into the day or evening.

I remember when we were there they wore me out. I had to go to bed before it ended sometime in the wee hours of the morning.

My dear brothers and sisters, you have been so generous in providing your dollars to help those in need. Take this opportunity to join yourself with the people of Our Lady of the Rosary during these nine days of prayer.

God Bless all you do!