March 15

Our Lady of the Rosary, Doha, Qatar

On March 14, 2008, the first Christian church in the emirate of Qatar opened, dedicated the next day to Our Lady of the Rosary by Cardinal Ivan Dias of India and Bishop Paul Hinder, apostolic vicar of Arabia. Because of its location in an Islamic state, by permission of and on land donated by the ruler, it is not a typical Catholic church. The large, modern building has no exterior cross or other sign of Christianity, and the biggest day for worship is Friday, not Sunday. Before entering the Blessed Sacrament chapel, visitors remove their shoes, as they would at a mosque. There is a 24-hour police guard outside. Our Lady of the Rosary Church serves a cosmopolitan congregation with masses in nine languages and two rites. Many of the parishioners are from India, and the pastor, Capuchin Franciscan Tomasito Veneracion, is from the Philippines. During the Islamic Eid holiday, the church hosted a Marian Convention September 21-23, 2009, with rosaries, masses, lectures, and other devotional activities. Picture from the church's site, www.rosaryqatar.net. Information from that and other sources.

Also commemorated this date:

bulletNotre Dame de la Brèche, Chartres, Eure-et-Loir, Centre, France
bulletDivina Pastora, Olopa, Chiquimula, Guatemala
bulletMadonnina delle Lacrime, Civitavecchia, Roma, Latium, Italy
bulletMaria Santissima delle Grazie e Consolazione, Belvedere Marittimo, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy. Sanctuary founded, 2002. Festa July 2.
bulletDerzhavnaya Mother of God, Kolomenskoe, Moscow, Russia (March 2 / 15)
 

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly