Brought together as One through Mary

Article written by A.F. Patricks

In the last two years, we were instructed to keep our distance, to separate and to stay away. Thus, it was a breath of fresh air, yes, a moment of grace, when the parishioners and friends of CDM came together as one for the Rosary Relay public procession on May 28.

The event, organised by CDM’s Marian Apostolate, was the culmination of the month-long Rosary month, which saw our BEC communities coming together online to recite the Rosary.

Despite the heavy rains in the last few days leading up to the event, by afternoon on May 28 we were blessed with almost clear skies and warm but pleasant weather.

For the procession, a new platform had to be built to house the statue of our Lady which was temporarily removed from the grotto. The platform was graciously sponsored by CDM’s Traffic Marshals team. Both the platform and the statue were decorated that morning with a combination of pink and white roses paired with white orchids. The outcome was a truly magnificent display of beauty.

The event started with an opening prayer led by our parish priest Rev Fr Alan Pereira at the entrance of the church. The Gospel text from Luke 1:39-56 on the Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth and the Magnificat was proclaimed.

Then the statue was lifted and carried on the shoulders of the Traffic Marshals. They moved from one station to another around the church compound led by our altar servers. The statue was followed by about 25 Catechism class students, the medical team and assistant parish priest Rev Fr Michel Dass.

Parishioners and friends of CDM, some 550 people, remained in the church, due to Covid-19 restrictions. They prayed the rosary, sang the hymns and followed the procession on the large projection screens.

The turnout was beyond expectation and the excitement in the air was hard to ignore. Some came as early as 3.30pm to pray before our Lady’s statue at the grotto. Many, both the children and adults, had forgotten the wonderful experience of this Catholic tradition of public processions, and were grateful for the opportunity to take part in it.

After the event, the organising team received many positive feedback, comments and thank you messages. Clearly a deep love and devotion to the Blessed Mother and Jesus brought in the crowd that day. The event touched many hearts. Many said they were happy to be a part of the event.

Many also came to honour their Mother who walked with them during the dark days of the pandemic, when family and friends were struck sick and when there were deaths of loved ones which they could not attend because of the travel restrictions; all those evenings of virtual rosaries said for their loved ones – it was now time to say thank you.

On a personal note, I felt a deep feeling of joy and peace on that day. Despite planning challenges and some uncertainties, our Mother was always there to intercede for us. This gave us the confidence we needed to carry on with our plans.

Through her intercession, God’s grace and the role our volunteers played that day, ensured that everything fell neatly into place that day. The event was a success. For me, this is yet again proof that everything is possible when we trust in God. I will cherish the memory of this experience for years to come.