Nicaraguan Bishops Launch Rosary Crusade

Church Calls National Year of the Word and Prayer

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RIVAS, Nicaragua, MAY 12, 2011 ( The Nicaraguan bishops initiated on Monday a National Rosary Crusade, which will continue until July 1, when a day of fasting for peace will be observed.

Representatives of the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua were received by hundreds of faithful who filled the main streets of Rivas on Monday for the launch of the crusade.

The event was marked by a moment of conflict when Mayor Wilfredo López of Rivas, who welcomed the bishops, began to give a «politicized address during the formal ceremony,» reported the Web page of the episcopal conference.

The event was scheduled to be a formal show of courtesy, in which the mayor was to give keys of the city to the bishops’ representatives. Instead, López referenced mottoes used by the Sandinista government. In response, the faithful interrupted the mayor’s address with Christian slogans, obliging him to end the political speech.

On behalf of the episcopal conference, Archbishop Leopoldo Brenes of Managua thanked the faithful for their expressions of affection and faith toward the bishops, and he invited them to intensify their prayers for the pastoral work they are carrying out in the various dioceses.

After the formal welcome ceremony, the prelates walked with the faithful from the Rivas fire station to St. Peter’s parish, where together with the clergy of Granada — represented by the priests of the pastoral area of Rivas — they celebrated the Eucharist with hundreds of faithful who crowded the parish.

Missionary Church

In the homily, Archbishop Brenes thanked Bishop Jorge Solorzano and the faithful of Granada for their welcome and pointed out: «We have walked together, which, as Church, is one of the loveliest experiences that we bear in our hearts, given that we are a missionary Church.»

He invited everyone to take part in the rosary crusade before the sacramental Jesus.

He reminded them of the proposal of the Nicaraguan bishops last November, when they suggested that the year 2011 be the Year of the Word and Year of Prayer for Nicaragua.

The archbishop said that the objective for convoking this crusade through a decree during the month of May, is «that all Nicaraguans, especially in this year, may open our hearts to Jesus and his Divine Spirit.»

In this way, he added, the faithful will be able to contribute the best of themselves to the well-being of the homeland «casting aside all that separates and divides us from being brothers, so that we will be, as the Virgin of Cuapa asks us, ‘builders of peace.'»

Before the final blessing, Bishop Sócrates René Sándigo of Juigalpa, secretary of the episcopal conference, read the decree that inaugurated the rosary crusade.

In the decree, the bishops stated that «this year of encounter with Christ in the Word and prayer for Nicaragua must be for all a special time of grace in order to intensify our approach to the Lord and to dispel from our homeland all the dangers that the Evil One would like to implant to disturb the peace that God gives us.»

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