History of the New Orleans Rosary Congress


The Rosary Congress has proven to be a great spiritual event of prayer, for seven days and nights adoring the Blessed Sacrament and praying the Holy Rosary. In May 1979 Poland was led to use this most powerful and proven scriptural method of prayer. Because of the sensitivity of the government it was called, The Siege of Jericho.

"And to Joshua the Lord said, 'I have delivered Jericho and its king into your power. Have all the soldiers circle the city, marching once around it. Do this for six days, with the seven priests carrying rams' horns ahead of the ark. On the seventh day march around the city seven times and have the priest blow the horns. When they give a long blast on the ram's horns and you hear that signal, all the people shall shout aloud. The wall of the city will collapse, and they will be able to make a frontal attack'" (JOSH 6:2-5)

The first Rosary Congress was held in Poland. The people wanted Pope John Paul II to visit his native country. The government put many sanctions in place, which made the visit impossible. The people decided to go to God in prayer. They prayed 7 days and nights, in Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with the Rosary at their National Shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa. On the seventh day, the government sanctions were dropped. The Pope was allowed to visit his native country.

In 1988, The Rosary Congress was brought to the United States. John Downs, a paraplegic chosen by God, was inspired to organize the Rosary Congress at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is the patroness of the United States. John was imitating the Polish people who prayed at their National Shrine, Our Lady of Czestochowa. John's great vision encouraged others to bring the Rosary Congress back to their towns and cities. This was a way for a greater number of people to experience, first hand, the power of these prayers.

In 1989, a delegation from the New Orleans area went to the Second Rosary Congress at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. This delegation was so impressed and the idea was brought back to the city of New Orleans. All the organized prayer groups in New Orleans agreed to help make this a success.

In 1990, the first Rosary Congress was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor, patroness of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. We prayed for life, reparation and peace. The last day of that first Congress, the oldest abortion clinic in the city closed. The building was torn down! What a great testimony to the power of gathering together in prayer, being with Jesus in the Eucharist, and praying the Rosary.

For 25 years The Greater New Orleans Rosary Congress has been a yearly event. It has drawn thousands of people from all over the area and beyond. St. Dominic’s parish, the second largest church in the city, was the first parish to open its doors to the Rosary Congress. The pastor, Rev. Neal McDermott, O.P. was told by the noted Sister Briege, that his church was like a great heart pumping life throughout the area. He said, "Rosary Congress!" Each year, while pastor, he completely welcomed and supported the Rosary Congress in his parish.  Now we are moving again, to St. Rita of Cascia Parish in  Harahan LA.

In 2017 The Greater New Orleans Rosary Congress will be held October 7 to the 13, at St. Rita of Casia Parish 7100 Jefferson Hwy Harahan LA 70123.

We are praying for Life, Reparation and Peace in our city, state, nation and the world. Those who come will experience the proven power of these prayers. The Rosary Congress is a powerful effective weapon of prayer and America needs prayer now. On July 13th 1917, Our Lady said  "Continue to pray the Rosary daily, in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace in the world and the end of the war, because only Our Lady can help you". Let the Lord inspire you to bring the Rosary Congress back to your own town. In this way you will help renew America’s mission of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all…    under one God - in whom we trust!

The church is open day and night for seven days. That is 168 hours, of continuous prayer and adoration of Jesus. Many spiritual groups, families, and individuals from local and adjoining areas cover the time. Prayer begins hourly, except when other activities are taking place. There is time for Mass, Adoration, Rosaries, processions, spiritual talks, periods of silence, and singing. The beauty and diversity of the Catholic Church is demonstrated in the many activities held during this week.

If you wish to come and be a part of the Greater New Orleans Rosary Congress, be a helper or be a representative from different areas, call Marie at 504-508-7100 for more information.