Fr. Theodore Lange elevates the monstrance during the Rosary Bowl. In a talk, Fr. Lange urged Catholics to keep asking Mary for help in converting the world.
Fr. Theodore Lange elevates the monstrance during the Rosary Bowl. In a talk, Fr. Lange urged Catholics to keep asking Mary for help in converting the world.

SALEM — What began as a cold foggy morning transitioned into a glorious sun-filled day as the Rosary Bowl convened at the Oregon State Fairgrounds Pavilion here. The name of the city, Salem, is rooted in shalom, the Hebrew word for peace and harmony.

With a mission of promoting peace and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and praying the family rosary daily, the Rosary Bowl NW has become a Catholic tradition for many to lift up their voices in praise and worship publicly. This was the 13th Rosary Bowl in Oregon.

The program, held annually on the first Saturday in October, hinges on the sacraments as the day opens with a long line assembling for confession, followed by Mass, closing with adoration and the rosary.

“Theology begins on ones’ knees,” Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith said during the homily, noting that believers can learn a lot from Mary’s actions when the angel told her she was to bear the “Son of the Most High.” Though afraid, Mary responded to the angel with faith and then pondered all in her heart as she continued to seek and grow in understanding, Bishop Smith explained. We can ask Mary to intercede for us so that our faith will continue to grow, he said.

Throughout the day, more than two dozen organizations staffed tables promoting their missions and apostolates. People visited more than 50 panels from the eucharistic miracles of the world exhibit, saw rosary makers busy at the rosary display and learned about the Schoenstatt Shrine. Rounding out the lineup was Oregon Right to Life, stationed next to a 50-foot-long memorial to unborn victims of abortion in Oregon.

New this year, the Oregon Knights of Columbus brought relics from the six priest martyrs of Mexico. The reliquary was accompanied by a larger-than-life-size banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe, several banners explaining the story of St. Juan Diego, as well as 19 icons of Mary that are part of the Knights’ national prayer program honoring Our Lady.

During the afternoon, Father Theodore Lange, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Veneta, referred to the messages of Fatima and asked: “What are the errors of Russia and have they spread?” Father Lange pointed out that the world has fallen into the age of sin against God the Creator and urged all to wake up and cling to the Blessed Virgin Mary, turning to her with great fervor for the conversion of the world.

“The entire day was a reminder that our savior Jesus Christ left us a mother to care for us and guide us to our heavenly home,” said Dina Marie Hale, organizer of the event.

Next year’s Rosary Bowl is set for Saturday, Oct. 3, at the same location.

Learn more

rosarybowlnw.org