GREEN BAY — What began as a prayerful, peaceful procession, led by Bishop Donald Hying in Madison on the Aug. 15 feast of the Assumption, has led to a movement that’s grown to more than 25 cities around the country.
On Oct. 11, Green Bay will join “Unite Our Nation” organizers in hosting a eucharistic procession and patriotic rosary rally, calling for blessings and healing in a divided nation.
The procession and rosary begins at 2 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, 140 S. Monroe Ave. According to Tom Fassbender, event organizer, “We want to bring our Lord and the Blessed Mother out of the church and into the streets during these challenging times. We ask for grace for our country with our most powerful weapons, the Blessed Sacrament and the rosary.”
Bishop David Ricken, joined by other clergy members, will lead the procession carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance . According to Fassbender, the walking procession will begin outside of the cathedral, travel north on Walnut Street, east on Adams Street and south on Doty Street to the Courthouse Plaza.
“At the Courthouse Plaza, we will have an altar set up,” said Fassbender. “Once our Lord is on the altar, we will pray the patriotic rosary for all 50 states. After the rosary, Bishop Ricken will proclaim the Gospel and offer a reflection.” Participants will return in procession to the cathedral.
Fassbender told The Compass that Kevin O’Brien, founder of Unite Our Nation, came up with the idea of a procession and rosary after demonstrations and protests began following the deaths of George Floyd and other Black citizens by law enforcement.
“Since then, which was only several weeks ago, Unite Our Nation has exploded across the country,” said Fassbender. “The reason why the processions are happening now is because we can no longer wait as a church. Just turn on any news station and then tell me that our country and church doesn’t need divine intervention.”
Fassbender stated that the procession is “prayerful, non-political and family-friendly.”
Prior to the procession’s start, Catholic musician Luke Spehar will perform music in the St. Francis Xavier parking lot starting at 1:30 p.m., said Fassbender.
While the list of religious processions grows, said Fassbender, there are no plans to make this an annual event. “However, there are adoration chapels throughout the diocese where we can continue to pray to our Lord for peace,” he said. “If your parish doesn’t have one, talk to your priest to get adoration going.”