by Andrew Joseph Koslosky KGCHS, Contributing Writer

On Thursday October 26, 2023, The people of the Gulf Coast united at The Holy Family Church in Pass Christian, for a very special celebration honoring the Mother of the Church, our Blessed Mother Mary.

This special evening of prayer joined two very Historic Pilgrimages, the Knights of Columbus’ Annual Silver Rose Program, which honors Our Lady of Guadalupe and The Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima, which allows for The Family Consecration of The Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, along with the Investiture of The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

All these events came together on that one evening, as if Choreographed by Divine intervention. Coincidence….?

The Program included Deacons and Priests representing parishes in the Biloxi Diocese, along with The Equestrian Order of The Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, The Knights of Columbus and their 4th Degree members, led by Bishop Louis F. Kihneman, Bishop for the Diocese of Biloxi.

The Church was beautifully decorated with what seemed like 100 dozen roses of various colors, and the children of the parish joined Ladies of various ministries in presenting single roses to Our Lady of Guadalupe and The Silver Rose.

The gathering began with a procession and placement of The Silver Rose and The Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima Statue, followed by the prayer most associated with the Blessed Mother, The Rosary.

Following the Rosary prayer, it was time for a special Mass honoring Our Blessed Mother. It was hard not to get lost in the moment of seeing all the Priests, Deacons, Knights of Columbus, Holy Sepulchre Knights and Ladies, seven altar servers, and The Bishop amongst the Pilgrim Statue and Silver Rose, decorated by all those beautiful flowers.

As the Bishop began to incense the Statue and the Rose, the newly formed Adult Choir of Holy Family Parish led the traditional Marian Hymn, Immaculate Mary.

It was a moment that brought me back in time when I was a young man attending church with my family, at a time when we seemed to have more moments like this in our Churches. Bishop Kihneman spoke during his homily of the “Wow” factor, how this all came together and the hint of Divine intervention as our Mother seemed to want to send us a message in these times of divide.

Times have certainly changed, and I suppose that is why so many people were so emotional about this wonderful evening of prayer. I don’t know if it was the memories of a different time, or the opportunity the evening provided to remind us that we have a Mother in Heaven and on Earth who was with us then, is with us now, and will be with us always to be our protector, to intercede for us, and to love us.

With all that life throws at us these days, it is easy to lose focus of our spiritual needs. Nights like this give us all an opportunity to step back and reset.

The messages of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Fatima are of extreme importance today. At Fatima, she appeared asking the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace and to make reparation for the sins of the world.

At Guadalupe her message was “I am your merciful mother, to you, and to all the inhabit- ants on this land and all the rest who love me, invoke and confide in me; I will listen to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, af- flictions and sorrows . . . . that nothing should frighten or grieve you.  Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”

Powerful words when we take the time to listen to the message. So, even though these evenings, like this passed Thursday in Pass Chrisitan, have become few and far between, it is essential for us to embrace and take part when they do come around.

It is never too late to take inventory of one-self spiritually… and these nights remind us of the importance of doing so.