In October of 2016, Father Richard Heilman of the Diocese of Madison Wisconsin invited people from around the country to pray the rosary for the elections, life and a return to the moral and Christian principles upon which this nation was established. Forty-thousand people participated.
In October 2017, Father Heilman once again repeated his call, and 50,000 people responded. At the same time, Our Lady was inspiring the people of Poland to surround the borders of their country and pray that prayer which has saved so many nations in the past.
Rosary at the Borders attracted millions of people according to Bishop Marek Jedraszewski, the archbishop of Krakow in southern Poland. “Let’s pray for other nations of Europe and the world to understand that we need to return to the Christian roots of European culture if we want Europe to remain Europe,” Archbishop Jedraszewski said.
Once again, this year Father Heilman has initiated “Rosary Coast to Coast,” asking people across the country to pray for life, faith and conversion, for those in the U.S. and across the world. Not only are there people in all 50 states participating in praying to Our Lady, people around the world have also been participating.
Bonnie Quirke, president of Lake County Right to Life, and Madeline McNicholas, a parishioner at Holy Ghost Parish in Wood Dale, had not heard of Father Heilman and his efforts when last November they were inspired to follow in the footsteps of Poland and surround the borders of Illinois with the faithful praying the rosary for the state and the country by founding “Rosary Around Illinois.”
They were thrilled to find out that, at the same day and time they are calling for people to pray the rosary in Illinois — Oct. 7 at 3 p.m., Central Time — people from the Rosary Coast to Coast initiative (http://rosarycoasttocoast.com/) will also be praying the rosary, as well, as a means to heal the country and return it to holiness.
Oct. 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.
To quote Father Heilman, “Today our battle is spiritual. We continue to live in peace-less times with laws and court rulings in conflict with God’s laws; especially the disregard for the rights of the unborn, elderly and weak in our society and the attacks on marriage and family values. Society and many levels of government continue to demonstrate intolerance towards Biblically-based religious belief and practice. In conflict with First Amendment constitutional rights, persecution of traditional religious expression has reached historically high levels.”
The mission of the Rosary Around Illinois event, said McNicholas, is “to enlighten the minds of the people of Illinois to elect leaders who will uphold God’s law and the Constitution. We ask Mary to wrap her mantle around the state of Illinois to bring reparation.”
Following Poland’s lead, McNicholas wanted to literally surround Illinois with people praying the rosary. The goal of the RAI committee is to have the rosary prayed in every county on the borders of Illinois and for it to be prayed in a public place.
The RAI event will also coincide with the final day of the Rosary Coast to Coast’s 54-day novena, which started on Aug. 15, the Feast of the Assumption.
“It’s important to pray for our country,” Father Heilman said. “We believe in the power of God.”
In conjunction with Rosary Coast to Coast, a National Rosary Rally will take place in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 7. The rally will be live streamed.
As of press time, public locations around the state of Illinois are still being added. For specific locations around the border go to the “Rosary Around Illinois” Facebook Page or contact RAI’s leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to add your own location around the border, please share with them so they can notify others who may be interested in joining you.