Folks around here, certainly those of you who live in the Saintly City, are well aware that Minneapolis leaves something to be desired when it comes to public devotions outside of Mass on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings.
Perpetual adoration chapels, for example, maybe 40 or more in the archdiocese, and more chapels than that are open only a day or so a week, count maybe only a couple in Minneapolis.
Some of the more notorious of the free-wheeling progressive, performance-oriented, Catholic parishes of the archdiocese are also located right here in the Mill City. (But don't get smug, St. Paul-ites, you have some problem parishes also, just not nearly as many).
The Fatima Family Apostolate, sponsors of regular all-night First Saturday devotions (occasionally in Minneapolis), also sponsors a large procession in St. Paul in October on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and more to the point today, processions in St. Paul and Minneapolis on the first Sunday in May in honor of our Blessed Mother, May being her month.
The St. Paul procession runs from the steps of the St. Paul Capitol to the Cathedral. [See Cathy of Alexandria's report (with photos) in her Recovering Dissident Catholic blog on their procession]. The Minneapolis procession runs from the Dunwoody parking lot west of the Basilica and winds its way into and through that nest of iniquity, Loring Park, and back to the Basilica. Some might say that the State Capitol is also a nest of iniquity! Archbishop Nienstedt was waiting at the Cathedral, and Archbishop-emeritus Flynn, and the glorious bells were waiting at the Basilica.
Missionaries must have been working overtime in Minneapolis, recently. The attendance at their procession (I helped a bit) was the largest in modern memory, over 400 strong, led by a statue of the Blessed Mother, the Knights of Columbus, a cantor and Father Bryan Petersen of Sacred Heart in Robbinsdale and more than 100+ Vietnamese Catholics. Father Petersen brought a large busload of his parishioners with him and said the Rosary as they processed. It stretched out a long way as they crossed the bridge over Hennepin/Lyndale avenues into the park. Very impressive.
Two-way radios with extra speakers were given to some in the procession so that all could be on the same page of their hymn books and during the Rosary.
The Basilica bells start ringing as the procession leaves the park and moved up Maple Street to the Basilica. What a glorious, reverent and moving sound. Archbishop Flynn and acolytes from the Basilica met them on the stairs and guided them inside where they were seated and a Rosary was said in English, Arabic, Vietnamese, Polish and Spanish. Say, if you want to listen to a beautiful praying of the Rosary, I strongly recommend that you attend one SUNG by a good sized group of Vietnamese. Also glorious!!!
Two little Vietnamese girls brought a crown up to the altar to place on the head of the statue of the Blessed Mother (borrowed from Holy Rosary parish), Archbishop Flynn gave a strong talk on the purpose of the day, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was held.
Next year if you all come early, we might beat St. Paul in procession attendance!!!