The plea is out for area faithful to join ‘Novena For Our Nation’
and USCCB’s ‘A Call to Prayer’

By Dave Jolivet
Anchor Editor

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — There’s a battle being fought on the streets and in the neighborhoods and homes of America. It’s very similar to the battle Christ faced when He walked this earth two millennia ago — a culture of life against a culture of death — and the culture of death doesn’t play by the rules, it makes them up.

There is, however, as it was in Jesus’ time, one powerful weapon to combat evil and that weapon in prayer.

It’s for this reason that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Holy League are sponsoring Novenas to rally the country’s faithful to turn to God for help in turning the tide against evil and its culture of death.

On August 3 a Novena was started by the USCCB as part of its “Call to Prayer,” initiative.

Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. recently wrote encouraging people to become involved: “I invite you and your parishioners to join me and Catholics nationwide in a weekly moment of prayer from early August to late September 2018 for the legal protection of human life.

“Each Friday, from August 3 to September 28, we’ll have the opportunity to join in a nine-week effort of prayer, fasting and education that a change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.”

The bishop also said that those who choose to participate can receive weekly prayer reminders by text message or email by signing up at

“In addition to the current invitation to fast on Fridays, participants will be encouraged to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for this intention,” wrote Bishop da Cunha.

Beginning August 15 and continuing through October 7, the Holy League, a national parish-based network of men united in devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, is sponsoring a “Novena For Our Nation.”

The 54-day Rosary Novena is meant to pray for freedom and faith in the United States. The league references the prophet Jeremiah, “If that nation against which I have spoken, shall repent of their evil, I also will repent of that evil that I have thought to do to them” (Jer 18:8).

In its promotion of the Novena, the Holy League says, “The time is now to call upon God, through the powerful intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary, to heal our country and return it to holiness.”

The Holy League encourages faithful who wish to participate in the 54-day Novena For Our Nation to use the Rosary as a powerful tool against evil: “We are called upon to help turn our country back towards God,” it reads on its Website at “We will accomplish that through prayer; prayer that can change hearts, change families, change our communities and change our country. There is no stronger weapon in the Spiritual battle than the Rosary.”

Those who wish to participate in the Novena are asked to visit the website and sign up to receive daily reflections sent directly via emails.

According to the Novena For Our Nation Website, the 54-day Novena had its start in 1884 when a young girl with several terminal illnesses prayed for Our Lady’s intercession for healing via a Novena. The Blessed Mother promised healing to the child if she prayed three Novenas, followed by three more Novenas of thanksgiving, thus the 54 days.

The site explains: “The Novena consists of five decades of the Rosary (one set of mysteries) each day for 27 days in petition; then immediately five decades each day for an additional 27 days in thanksgiving, regardless of whether or not the request has been granted yet.

“So began six Novenas of Rosaries, which became known as the 54-day Rosary Novena.

“To do the Novena properly one must pray the Rosary for 54 consecutive days, without missing a day, and must pray the particular Mystery indicated for that day following the correct sequence.

“That is, the first day of the Novena always begins with the Joyful Mysteries (regardless of what day of the week the Novena is started); the second day, the Sorrowful Mysteries are prayed; and the third day of the Novena, the Glorious Mysteries are prayed.

“The fourth day of the Novena begins again with the Joyful Mysteries and continues on in that sequence throughout the 54 days of the Novena.

“People have asked over time about the Luminous Mysteries — this Novena was given by Our Lady as noted above in 1884 and only allows for the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries.”

The Novena will culminate on October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, with a “U.S. Rosary Coast to Coast” event and a Rosary Rally in Washington, D.C.

The “Rosary Coast to Coast” is a call to all faithful to pray on October 7, joining thousands of their brothers and sisters across the country and those gathered in our nation’s capital.

Edwin and Ana Aldarondo, members of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford have been busy getting the word out about the Novena, Rosary Coast to Coast, and Rosary Rally, stressing the crucial nature of the events. “A sense of urgency is too often ignored and cannot be ignored any more,” Edwin told The Anchor. “Last year our Mother Church celebrated the 100th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady in Fatima. Despite the many celebrations I felt all messages were guided to narrating the history of the apparition and nothing in regards to how the people have evolved since 1917. Where is humanity as to what Our Lady requested from us, where is our society, where is our Church? 

“I truly believe we are living the signs of the times. Throughout history Our Lady has come to warn us but also to offer a solution. In 1981, Our Lady of Fatima warned through Sister Lucia that the final battle will be against Marriage and the family and that anyone who tries to defend them will experience persecution and tribulation.”

Aldarondo is the pilgrimage coordinator for Catholic Footprints Pilgrimage and is leading a pilgrimage to Canton, Ohio from October 4-7. “We will either join any activity already planned or do something with the pilgrims who have joined our pilgrimage on that weekend.”

On the Rosary Coast to Coast Website ( three parishes in the Diocese of Fall River have pledged action on October 7. As of press time the Holy Rosary Sodality at St. Stanislaus Parish in Fall River has pledged 20 decades of the Rosary. Good Shepherd Parish on Martha’s Vineyard has signed up with a contact of Esther Deming ( as has St. Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth, with a contact of Jennifer Hunter (

Aldarondo told The Anchor that via social media he has received support from Deacon David Pepin and Mary Cardoza at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet; Jane Wilcox at St. Bernard’s Parish in Assonet; the Missionary Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in New Bedford; and he is reaching out to the Legion of Mary group in Fairhaven.

“Our stance with Rosary Coast to Coast is to beg Our Lord for mercy, for more time,” added Aldarondo. “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Our Lady would surely rather that we pray and repent in order to hold back the judging hand of the Lord. We must pray the Rosary daily for the conversion of sinners. ‘Beg the Lord for poor sinners to repent’” (Eph 6:10-17).

The Rosary Coast to Coast Website gives participants a plan of action: “On the weekend of the October 7, feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the U.S. — through Rosary Coast to Coast — will join with our international brothers and sisters to pray for our respective nations.

“Americans across the country are invited to pray Rosary Coast to Coast wherever they can gather: in parish churches; in front of state capitols; along the U.S. coasts and borders; as families; or while viewing the live-stream of the National Rosary Rally. Rosary Coast to Coast will take place at 4 p.m. Eastern, 3 p.m. Central, 2 p.m. Mountain, and 1 p.m. Pacific. The reasoning behind these times will be to support all time zones in full participation of events, aside from Sunday Masses. Indeed, the heart of the nation will be immersed in the Hour Of Mercy.

“The National Rosary Rally will take place, as well, in front of the U.S. Capitol on this day. We will begin with Mass at St. Peter’s on Capitol Hill followed by a Rosary procession to the rally site. The Rosary Rally will be live-streamed.”

For more information on any of the events, visit Novena For Our Nation at and the Rosary Coast to Coast at


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