Editor’s Note: Catholic Family News is happy to publish the following report about the previously announced Public Profession of Faith and Rosary, which took place in Calgary on the Feast of the Assumption (Aug. 15, 2020). The report was written by one of the participants, Mr. Craig McFarland. We commend all those who worked to make this event possible and to honor Our Lady publicly on her feast. This event is a superb example of true Catholic Action.
By Craig McFarland
To say that the Catholic Church has seen tumultuous times in her 2,000-year history is an understatement. Yet the last six months have seem incredibly tumultuous times for the Church throughout the world, with government-imposed restrictions on Catholic worship, the surrender of the Church’s hierarchy to the same government (Archbishop Viganò and Bishop Schneider are notable exceptions), and a surge in vandalism against several Catholic churches, statues, and cathedrals in North America and Europe. Like Attila the Hun in the 5th century and his barbarian hordes, we are seeing hordes who have no respect for God’s law or Western Catholic Civilization.
These times of error and unrest cry out for prayer through a public profession of Faith, acknowledging and honoring the sovereign rights of Almighty God and begging His protection. One may be tempted to keep the Catholic Faith hidden inside our homes; however, the greater the dangers the Church faces, that much greater should be the counterattack from the faithful. When Attila sought to destroy Rome, Pope St. Leo the Great and other faithful of the city went out to meet him face to face. More than ever is the time to take the Faith out to the public and publicly proclaim that the world needs Jesus Christ, His Church, and His Blessed Mother. The reason the world is in such a state of turmoil is because our civil and ecclesiastical leaders have rejected the Social Kingship of Christ. Error and vice reign supreme today, because Christ has been dethroned in society.
The great St. Pope Pius X wisely said “The times we live in demand action – but action which consists entirely in observing with fidelity and zeal the divine laws and precepts of the Church, in the frank and open profession of religion…” With these words of the great pontiff in mind, and taking his papal motto to “Restore all things in Christ to heart”, Catholics in Calgary, Alberta boldly endeavored to make a public Profession of Faith. On August 15, the glorious Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, over 300 Catholics — including 4 priests, a religious sister and a seminarian — gathered in front of City Hall to make a public Profession of Faith. This Profession of Faith was organized by SSPX priest Fr. Michael McMahon and parishioners of St. Dennis Catholic Church.
Fr. McMahon began the Profession with a stirring address to the hundreds of faithful Catholics gathered in the plaza of City Hall, explaining the necessity of the event: “We are professing the one true Faith. That Faith revealed by Our Lord Jesus Christ to honor His Father, Almighty God, for the salvation of souls; that Faith which was sealed by His Blood.” In his address, Father held up as example the 17th-century crusader king of Poland, John Sobieski, who said “it is better to perish, then to live even one year in slavery.” Father encouraged everyone to live the noble examples of our ancestors, by publicly professing the Faith not only on this day, but all the days of our lives.
After Father’s address, he led the faithful in the recitation of Rosary and the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The climax of the day was the renewal of the baptismal promises, where Satan and his works were firmly and publicly renounced. It seemed that the Blessed Mother looked favorably on the actions of the day, as the weather was glorious. The sky was blue, without a cloud; a pure blue, a reminder of Our Lady’s color.
It wasn’t possible to just show up and pray in public without first preparing. A lot of preparation and thought went into this event. A novena to the Holy Ghost was prayed every day after Mass at St. Dennis until August 14. Posters were made to attract the interest of Catholics from around the city. Large banners were made that said, “One Faith, One Lord, One Baptism”; “Pray the Rosary for Peace”; and “Hail, Holy Queen.” A sound system with four speakers was set up so the Rosary could be heard from blocks away. Hundreds of booklets were printed with the program for the Profession. Divine Providence arranged that August 15 was also the day St. Dennis was assigned all-day adoration, so while most of the faithful were in front of City Hall praying, some stayed behind to adore Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
How fitting it is to make a Profession of Faith by publicly honoring Our Lady and praying her Rosary in public! In his address, Fr. McMahon aptly drew out the pivotal role of Our Lady as Mediatrix of all graces. She who places our prayers at the feet of the Holy Trinity and gives us graces from God that we need to live according to that Catholic Faith. How can we not acknowledge that Our Lady is the answer to the crisis in the Church and the world? She is the one who will bring victory and triumph to the Church, when Russia is consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.
The weapon she has given to us to fight for this triumph is the Holy Rosary. Heaven has given more power to the Rosary than ever before. When the Virgin Mary appeared in Fatima, Portugal on May 13, 1917, she said, “Pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world.” Sister Lucia, the great Fatima Seer, said, “There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”
Therefore, the battle plan is drawn, and the weapon has been forged. Catholics are called to enlist in the Queen of Heaven’s army, take up the Rosary, and march into battle. The public Profession of Faith in Calgary was just an example of God’s battle plan for the Church. It is hoped that this event will happen every year in the city, and also inspire Catholics around the world to organize similar events. The more the world turns against God’s Church, the more Catholics ought to push back. As the prayer of reparation to the Sacred Heart says, “The more Thy Holy Church is despised, the more we shall endeavor to be her faithful children, O Sweet Heart of Jesus!”