Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Jonathan Martinez - Florida Catholic
MIRAMAR | Amid the dark clouds of a pandemic, prayer and hope broke through in the form of a caravan of motorcycles led by Archbishop Thomas Wenski.
The annual Silver Rose Pilgrimage, organized by the Knights of Columbus since the 1960s, made its way to St. John XXIII Church in Miramar on July 3, 2020. This national pilgrimage began in March and reached South Florida after traveling through North America. The journey of the Silver Rose is scheduled to end on Dec. 12, 2020, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Knights of Columbus.
“Even amid this pandemic, it's important to remind people that we trust in God, we trust in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” said Father Ernest Biriruka, pastor of St. John XXIII Church. “Not only did we pray for the end of abortion but also for the end of this pandemic, and to give a little cheer to people is extremely important. It was a wonderful event.”
“We have gone through so many hurdles since the pandemic began and one of the hardest was not being able to practice our faith in person. Today, we ask the Virgin of Guadalupe to open the door for us to be able to return and for things to get better,” said Jorge Ibacache, regional administrator for Region 8 of the Knights of Columbus Florida State Council.
The Silver Rose program demonstrates the unity between Knights of Columbus in North America — Canada, the United States, and Mexico. At each stop of the pilgrimage, the rosary is prayed and offered for the intentions of those in the community, respect for life, for the spiritual renewal of each nation, and for the advancement of the message of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The pilgrimage is a way of bringing attention to the pro-life cause and the Knights' role in promoting it, Archbishop Wenski said. Our Lady of Guadalupe "is shown with child, so it’s a way of drawing attention to the fact that life should be respected from the time of conception to natural death,” he said.
“The rose that travels today as part of the pilgrimage is in remembrance of the roses that the Virgin Mary gave to Juan Diego as proof of her existence,” said Carlos Guzman, a member of Knights of Columbus Council 14390.
An estimated 230 people attended the event, praying both inside and outside the church while adhering to social distancing rules.
At the conclusion of the prayer service, the Silver Rose took to the road, headed to Ave Maria on Florida's west coast, in the Diocese of Venice. It was escorted by the Knights on Bikes, with the archbishop leading the charge.
"The biggest honor is to ride with the archbishop,” said George F. Gutierrez, Sr., chairman of the Archdiocese of Miami Knights on Bikes. “He is a biker, he is a Knight of Columbus and he is the worldwide chaplain for the Knights on Bikes. With events like this, we are able to share our mission and to evangelize and help spread the word of God, especially to bikers.”
The Knights of Columbus are the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in 1882 to assist working-class and immigrant Catholics in the United States, today approximately two million Knights put their faith into action by taking part in a broad range of charitable causes at the local, national, and international levels. For more information, contact the council at your parish or visit www.kofc.org.