By Fr. Mark Hyde, SDB, Pastor, St. Rosalie Parish
On Sunday, September 27, the Parish Community of St. Rosalie celebrated their patronal feast at the 10:30 AM Sunday Mass. The sanctuary with its St. Rosalie Shrine and relic was decorated with beautiful floral baskets donated by parishioners in honor or memory of a loved one(s). Following social distancing and wearing the required face masks, the main body of the church, the side-wing, the choir loft, and the day chapel were filled with devotees.
At the conclusion of Mass, the young people in attendance were called up to receive a bottle of bubbles to use during the procession. They were also gifted with an October packet of Magnificat for Kids to prepare for and be used at all the Sunday Masses of October.
Following the Mass, there was the traditional procession in honor of St. Rosalie, though adapted to the pandemic. Instead of a walking procession, there was a motorcade with the statue and relic of St. Rosalie going through the parish neighborhood. In addition to the parishioners in their cars, honking their horns and waving to people on the motorcade route, two fire trucks from the local fire station, and three deputy sheriffs from Jefferson Parish were part of the festivities.
The motorcade entitled “Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord” honored St. Rosalie, but more than that, it was a devotion seeking St. Rosalie’s intercession and protection from the pandemic and a speedy end to the pandemic.
As the motorcade went its way through the neighborhood, people along the route, smiled, waved, blessed themselves, and took pictures of this year’s unique procession.
As the motorcade concluded, the faithful devotees gathered in St. Rosalie Church for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, the recitation of the Rosary (which usually took place during the procession), the prayer of St. Rosalie, the blessing with her relic, and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Before the service concluded, the children were called up to receive another bottle of bubbles. Following that, I invited parents, grandparents, Godparents, aunts, and uncles to come up and take a bottle of bubbles and a Magnificat for Kids for their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews who were unable to attend the celebration. But there was a catch for the adults—they agreed to tell the story of St. Rosalie to their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews as they presented feast gifts.
Although this year’s procession was not the traditional one due to the pandemic, it was devotional and beautiful just the same.
St. Rosalie, intercede for us, protect us from the pandemic and all evil, and bring an end to this pandemic as you did years ago in Palermo.